This was a great experience! The process starts with the purchase of either an AM or PM flight. After the purchase you now must book the flight. One must realize that it is a weather related trip and so if the wind howls for a week, well, you won't be flying.
The night before our flight we confirmed through a phone number whether or not we would fly. We were on standby and luckily, the wind abated and we met at the Victoria Square Mall at 6am. One thing I did not realize was how the wind can change at various elevations. The Pilot (Eduardo) released a balloon and we all watch it blow in a NW direction. Suddenly, it changed direction and began heading ENE. With that info we were off to the airport for an ENE trip over the city of Regina.
It was interesting to watch Eduardo and David unpack the gondola, followed by the large balloon. Within 15 minutes the hot air balloon was ready for departure. After a series of safety instructions and approval from air traffic control, Eduardo skilfully guided the Balloon over the airport and then once the proper elevation was attained, we headed in a north easterly direction.
The trip was awesome, the trip was silent, and it really was like walking with the wind!
Eduardo has done nearly 100 trips over Regina and knows all the land marks and great landing places. Dave follows in the Van/trailer and seems to know just where we will land although Eduardo is in constant contact with him. We went from 500 feet in the air in a north- east direction to just over 50 feet in a north- west direction. It was interesting how he was able to cause a change of direction.
The landing was fun. We had the choice of a level 2 or level 3 landing. As we were all adventurous, we choose the more exciting level three and laughed our heads off and we gently tipped on our sides.
It was a great experience for all ages; some of our group were in their 70’s as well as a young couple. After packing up the balloon, we all stood in the field and celebrated a two hundred year tradition by sipping on a glass of champagne! Eduardo and Dave, see you next year. That was just SOOOOO much fun!