I have always wanted to ride a hot air balloon. My curiosity started with shows on TV and movies where they get to ride one. For me, it’s like riding a kite only that it’s strong enough to carry me
My dream came true when I get to ride one last February. My sister and I went to the 17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta at Clark Airfield, Pampanga. We woke up early so we can go to the airfield at 5:00am since it’s a first come, first serve basis. We waited for the in-charge to arrive and waited for the balloon assignment.
Finally, we met the hot air balloon pilots also known as balloonists and went out to the field for the ride. My pilot’s name is Wolf and his assistant is Suzy, his wife.
Each balloon is assigned a chase crew. Yes, that’s the name and yes, they do chase the balloon. Well, they also prepare the balloon and assist the pilot.
The hot air balloons and the pilots came from different countries like Germany, Sweden, USA, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Finland, Hungary, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. There were more than 20 balloons that went up and fly.
Finally, our balloon was going up in the air! I wanted to jump up and down but it’s gonna shake the balloon up so I just kept the excitement inside (huge grin on the face).
I felt a bit dizzy as we were going up and my body adjusting to the air pressure. We were up a few thousand feet. The view is spectacular!
We were traveling on a speed of less than 10mph and the hot air inside the balloon controls the altitude at which we were traveling.
As all good things come to an end, We finally found a nice place to land safely. The balloon is equipped with GPS that allows the chase crew to locate us.
It felt so surreal riding a hot air balloon. It was a lot of fun looking at the world in a different view. It should be on everybody’s bucket list. Well, only to those who are not afraid of heights.