Ballooning takes place at sunrise, which means a pre-dawn wake up with steaming coffee and a chilly drive to the launch. The sense of excitement ripples through you as the great balloons slowly fill with hot air, rising up ponderously above their tethered baskets. Take-off is a noisy, bumpy affair, which adds to the thrill and enhances the sudden serenity when you reach cruising altitude. The noise of the heating flame punctuates the quiet along ...

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