Cappadochia is one of those places in the world that has you going "Wow" everywhere you look. The scenery is stunning and the addition of the balloons in the sky for the morning is great.
As we said earlier we had to wait an extra day to get a booking and there was the possibility that our flight may be cancelled due to thunder storms looming.
Having been on the flight now I see why the weather is such an important factor as you truely are at the mercy of the wind.
We were picked up at 05:30 for our flight and taken to Kapadokia Balloons office where there was about 60 people waiting to fly.
Graham our pilot was from England and flies n Cappadochia for 6 months of the year and then in the USA for the remainder of the year where he lives.
The take off site is selected every morning according to the weather as is the landing sight.
A short drive to the site in the early morning light and we met out crew there, the balloon was lying on the ground, empty beside the basket. The job of filling the balloon
with air commenced and then the burners to provide the gas.
The preflight checks and a briefing on how to brace your self in the event of a crash landing were over and done with and we stood eagerly awaiting our lift off, when I realised it had already happened, its not quite like a 747 leaving Auckland International Airport.
A very gentle lift off then the breeze determines what happens next. The launch site was high above the valley that the fairy chimneys are in.
After an initial climb we then descended into the head of the valley, as we lowered over the edge the basket was about a meter off the ground, the view was just stunning, the hearby horizon was just dotted with with multi coloured balloons. I would be guessing but maybe 60 - 70 balloons, another Kappadokia Ballon had taken off from the site at the same time so we were not too far away from them for some of the time.
The only noise you hear is the gas burners ignite from time to time, there is no actual wind noise, but sounds from the valley below travel up to you
loud and clear. The dawn sky looked like it was filled with light bulbs turning on and off as the balloons ignited gas.
The highest we climed was to 2,000 feet above the valley floor and the lowest was 6 feet as we lowered into some areas to take a closer look.
Grahan the pilot said to me at one stage, "I see your wife is a horizon watcher" I asked him what he meant by that and he said "She hasn't looked down yet just straight ahead".
I laughed and told him she was afraid of heights, in saying that Sheryll managed it well and we both had a wonderful time. We flew for about one and a half hours and the Graham selected a landing site of which there are many in the hills above Goreme. The ground crew park up on a high ridge and keep an eye on where it may land and move as the balloon lowers. We seemed to miss our first landing site due to a wind change so they had to chase us to another . The 4WD and the trailer were in a paddock and our pilot landed
the basket on the trailer. Not bad for a non powered craft.
After the flight we celebrated in true ballooning style with champagne, after popping the cork Graham said if anyone had caught the cork we could of had a free flight, nice one Graham telling us afterwards
We were very impressed with the company we chose to fly with, also the pilot Graham and the ground crew
We truely reccomend it if you ever get an opportunity, It will be one of the highlights of our trip that we will remember forever.
But wait Murray has yet to go Tandem Paragliding in a week or so
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