Sand bags – check. Basket – check. Propane tanks – check. Sounds like preparation for a war re-enactment. I mean, the one with big flames shooting out in place of explosions. Sounds like fun? How about adding a big envelope above the big propane burner? Confused? Welcome to the world of hot air ballooning. Here is what you can expect when taking a napa ballon rides ride.

1. No sense of motion. The balloon’s lift is very gentle. There is very little sensation of altitude or motion in these wonderful vessels. This is a great preliminary activity for those who want to fly but suffer from flight and height phobias. Hot air ballooning is a great way to enjoy and appreciate flying in its simplest and truest form.

2. Most flights are done at dawn so expect morning temperatures on most of your trip. Layered clothing is advisable so you can adjust and adapt your body temperature to your preferred comfort level. You will be accompanied by the morning sun on your journey and to some; the sun’s rays may be a tad bit uncomfortable for their eyes. A hat or visor and sunglasses are advised.

3. Expect that your flight may be cancelled due to any sign of unfavourable ballooning weather. Hot air balloons rely on wind and rainless weather. Your cancelled flight will be re-scheduled as soon as it is safe to do so. Most companies prioritise rescheduled passengers on the next available flight. Ballooning attracts so many participants and one reason for this is the passenger safety that they take so much importance in.

4. Flights only occur a couple of hour’s post sunrise and several hours before the sun sets. Calmer winds are eminent during these times and vary depending on the months that you prefer to fly.

5. Balloon landings are as gentle as the lift off; there are some instances where a balloon may land on its side. This is the reason why wind conditions are carefully considered by the pilots to ensure a perfect and upright landing.

6. Sparkling champagne or cider for minors is served at the end of each flight. Some packages include breakfast at the landing site. Expect that participant who are intoxicated will be refused to ride. Individuals who are on any hallucinogenic medications are expected to inform the pilot prior to flying.

7. Expect a wonderful array of spectacular vistas of all kinds of land, and water formations. City and urban life from a bird’s perspective. It’s a different sightseeing experience that only a balloon ride can give.

8. It’s more than just flying. Hot air ballooning also shares interesting facts and knowledge. This activity has come a long way. The history and how it first started will surely add a more nostalgic feel to your balloon ride.

9. Hot air ballooning can generate more memories than you would ever imagine. It is a fun activity that you can share with special people in your life. It is an endeavour that will surely have you longing and looking forward to that next flight and more after.

When an outdoor sport is presented to you, you are sometimes faced by that line, “it’s not for the faint hearted”. Hot air ballooning will never be in this category. It is a venture that fortifies the flight desires of an aviophobic person through the magic and sublime bliss it brings.


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