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Hot air ballooning over Sossusvlei in Namibia #flightread #rwpchat

November 13, 2016

 

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Hot air ballooning over Sossusvlei

I woke up early to do a balloon flight with my husband while on holiday in Namibia.  It was still dark and the stars were spectacular.  We hoped we would be lucky with the weather, as our flight the previous day had been cancelled due to strong winds, which would have blown the balloon off course either ending up over the Atlantic Ocean or stranded on top of a sand dune.  This had happened to a balloon flight several months ago and it had taken three days to rescue everyone as the Namib Desert where Sossusvlei is located is very remote and many of the sand dunes are 300 metres high.

We made our way to reception to meet the organiser of the balloon trip to see if the weather conditions were favourable, they were, we were going to fly over the sand dunes in a hot air balloon.  We got into the waiting vehicle and were driven to the take-off site.  As we approached we could see one balloon already in the air and the other two being inflated.

Soon our hot air balloon was fully inflated so we climbed into the basket.  The burners were switched on and we slowly rose up into the still morning air.  The view over the sand dunes was incredible.  As the sun rose higher in the sky they changed from pale pink to mauve then to vivid orange.  As we drifted over the desert we spotted oryx which were disturbed by the noise from the burners.

All too soon it was time to come back down to earth after an unforgettable experience.  We climbed out of the basket and the crew deflated the balloon. Then it was time for breakfast in the middle of the Namib Desert.  A sumptuous feast had been laid out on trestle tables complete with champagne.  All this before 9am in the morning – what an amazing start to the day.

Monique (Surrey Libraries)

 

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