We have never done ballooning before. There have been opportunities to do it from York, a small country town near Perth, but the landscape of the area just wasn't appealing. When I discovered that we could balloon over a Tuscan valley, well, that was much more appealing. We booked via the internet, and paid via credit card, with the knowledge that if, for weather reasons, we could not go up, that we would get a full refund. Email communication was excellent, and full of information on how to get to the launch site. Also checked out their web site, which was also very professional.
The weather leading up to our flight day was not particularly encouraging, but we got a flight confirmation email the afternoon before. We were to meet at 0715.
The weather for the morning was definitely better, although still a bit cloudy. We met Chris, the pilot, and Claire, his hard working wife, and a small band of friendly assistants. We got a safety briefing as the big red Virgin balloon got inflated and rose upwards. We then all piled in and gently lifted off. The flight was scheduled for about an hour, and we zig zagged across and up the local Tuscan valleys, over farm houses, forests and fields. Chris was very knowledgable about the area, and was also pleased to provide technical information about ballooning.
Chris sighted our landing area, a small strip of uncultivated earth at the edge of someone's farm. He coordinated the support crew and truck, and we soon saw them making their way up the road. Chris put the balloon precisely on the desired spot, with minimal bumping. Whilst the balloon was being packed away, we enjoyed a champagne brekky on the hill overlooking the tuscan valley. We were then treated to a quick tour of a local terra cotta factory, due to the fact that the owner was on the flight too. After that, we were taken back to the launch site and our cars.
Chris & Claire are very personable people, fluent in english (because they ARE english), and their support crew were also very chatty and friendly.
A great treat and a very well run activity.
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