Friday, June 7, 2013

Up, Up, and Away

We knew there was a hot-air ballooning business in Lauzerte from the promotional literature and the occasional glimpses of balloons in and around the village.  For me, it was an opportunity to take photos, but for others (namely Ros, Kiff, Clare and Michael), it was an opportunity to fly. When the dreadful spring weather finally cleared, they assembled one early morning in a field near the Hotel Belvedere for the ride of their life.

After a safety briefing by ballonist Bernard Jean of Quercy Pluriel, everyone chipped in to help get the ballon ready for inflation.

Once it was fully inflated, the excited passengers got aboard, and they were ready for take off.

Those of us who came to support them followed the flight in our cars.  Because there was very little wind, it was not a difficult task to keep up with the balloon which occasionally stood stationery overhead for several minutes.

 For us, and I guess for the balloonists, the most exciting moments were the final minutes of the flight as the balloon ascended the hill to the village of St. Thecle as they looked for a safe place to land.

That place was a football field and the soft landing (and entire flight) was appreciated by these flyers.

It was fun to follow along and photograph them, but I think that will have to remain the extent of my ballooning adventure.