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Hot air balloon
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The activity

1. Preparation

balloon hot air balloon

The hot air balloon flight experience is more than the flight in itself. It is a global experience that includes an accurate planning and, especially, a coordinated team work.

The first thing we do at the meeting point is to consider whether the weather conditions are the optimal ones for a hot air balloon flight. For this reason, we will use a weather balloon that will enable us to check the conditions of the sky and the wind, its currents and the different directions depending on the altitude.

Once checked the required weather conditions to fly, we will set the balloon...

During that morning, each member of the team work that will take part in the hot air balloon flight will have its role.

The first thing that we have to do is to unload the balloon from the trailer and to unfurl the sail, which remains spread out on the esplanade. Àngel, the pilot, opens the balloon’s mouth and chooses one of the travellers to hold it opened. Meanwhile, with a fan, the cold air is blown into the chamber of the balloon. But before, he makes sure that the muskets that attach the envelope with the basked are properly attached and that the cables are not tangled. Everything is right. The balloon is taking surprising dimensions. Another person, at the back of the balloon, keeps the crown head tightened in order to maintain the sail of the balloon tightened. That favours a soft and controlled inflation.

2. Hot air balloon rising

Hot air balloon rising Hot air balloon rising

The airborne adventure begins once the hot air balloon has ascended. The passengers climb into the hot air balloon basket and Àngel fires a couple of steady flames which heat the air, and the hot air balloon lifts right off the ground. The hot air balloon rises gently while Àngel is in radio communication with the chase vehicle. The vehicle will come at the landing site and will pick us up once the hot air balloon flight is over. The balloon rises gently, almost not even realizing we are climbing into the sky… We are flying in a hot air balloon! The hot air balloon experience starts. First-time passengers might feel an initial fear that starts to vanish and an indescribable pleasure settles in when, at 1000 meters altitude on a sea of clouds, we realise that a hot air balloon flight is a pleasant, safe and controlled activity. The hot air balloon travels at the same speed as the wind; we feel integrated in the nature, at the expense of its rhythms. Àngel periodically fires the burner and the hot air balloon rises. Once the balloon has ascended, the burner stops working and that is when the peace sensation is absolute. The hot air balloon moves at the same speed and direction as the wind. The direction cannot be controlled. Experience skills tell us that the only thing the pilot does in a hot air balloon is to benefit from the wind currents that are found on the different altitudes so as the hot air balloon moves in one direction or another.

3. Landing

Hot air balloon landing landing

Àngel will bring the balloon down at a slow and controlled rate. The hot air balloon landing is an experience as well. It is one of the most poetic moments of the hot air balloon ride: when doing a hot air balloon flight we know the starting point but the landing point remains unknown. It is a very intimate contact with the nature, just as if we made an agreement of complicity on non-aggression with it. Fortunately, the wind, very important during the all flight, moves to the predicted direction. The hot air balloon gets gently closer to the floor and, eventually we touch it. We leave the hot air balloon when Àngel tells us to do so and we hold the ropes...

4. Collection of the balloon and brunch

Collection of the balloon Collection of the balloon and brunch

Once on the floor, it feels like we were still flying on the hot air balloon. We gently leave the sail of the hot air balloon on the floor and we fold it minutely. It is not an easy job as the wind has to be expelled from the interior and the sail has to fit in a very small place. All the members that have enjoyed the hot air balloon flight participate in this task. The basket and the deflated envelope are secured on the trailer. It is time to decide where to go for brunch. After the hot air balloon experience, we strengthen the bond among members with a porró of wine (a jar with a long spout for drinking from) together with a succulent brunch. Once on the table, we remember the hot air balloon experience, we laugh and we remember the memorable moments of the day.  Oh! And Àngel, the pilot, gives to the participants of the experience the well deserved flight certificates.

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