Up, Up, and Away!!!

Trip Start Jun 07, 2008
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39
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Trip End Jun 28, 2009


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

This morning was incredible! We woke up early and went for my first-ever hot air balloon ride! It was also the first-ever ride for my dad, mom, and my sister (of course!). We left the hotel at sunrise and drove down to a huge field, which was actually on top of the ridge right above the valley where we hiked yesterday. There were lots of other balloons in the air and landing and about to take off. I had butterflies and was a little nervous. Tallulah said, "Lots of people in North Vaza have butterflies in their bodies ." North Vaza is where her imaginary friends live.

Our balloon was grey and black and it had a big basket, big enough for 16 people plus the driver. Our family had our own corner in the basket. We climbed into the basket and after the guys checked the wind and the helium gas, we slowly took off. We started out right over the valley, then turned and flew up, up, up. Our pilot, Volcan, realized his two-way radio was out of batteries, but we could not get the other guys on the ground to hear us, so luckily his cell phone worked. We went up to 2000 meters, then Volcan let Lu and me pull the lever to fire the balloon. That was so cool! We went up again to 2300 meters - so high! My dad said that the oxygen was starting to get a little thin. It kind of felt like I was about to fall! Then we started back down. Volcan said that the highest he has ever gone was 3000 meters on a training flight. You could see all the way to the volcanic mountain which is what caused all the fairy castles and rock formations in Cappadochia millions of years ago.

We slowly dropped down towards the ground, over melon fields and the valleys and pointed fairy castles. We could see the truck with the guys who were supposed to help us land driving around trying to figure out where we would land. Volcan told us to get ready for landing position, which meant holding on to the ropes and ducking down. But he was such a good driver that we barely bumped the ground at all and actually landed on top of the trailer that is used to move the balloon. We all climbed out while the other balloon guys deflated the balloon and folded it up. Then we got champagne (Volcan sprayed it on me) and certificates.
It was a great way to start the day!
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