Taking Maureen to the Middle East travel blog

Almost ready for takeoff

We're off

The fort

The valleys below

Saturday 3rd October

4.30 am wake up call and I decided I could go on my balloon flight. Wasn’t feeling ill at the present time but was worried about the toilet situation. Not wanting to embarrass myself mid flight I folded up my cheap pashmina wrap and decided to use it as a nappy just in case. Hey, if needs must I will do it.

Our bus duly picked us up at 5am and we were off and away to the take off point. It was all hustle and bustle as about 5 trailers turned up with their baskets and balloons on board. There was lots of action as they fired up the flames and slowly our balloon started inflating. It only took about 15 minutes and it was floating aloft and we could all clamber into the basket. Our basket held 20 people so there was another group with us.

It was amazing to look out over the landscape in the distance to see dozens of other balloons all inflating and starting to rise as well. At last we were aloft, it wasn’t cold up there and we reached a maximum height of 1300m, but were constantly rising and falling depending on the fall of the land below. We counted at one point and there were 80 balloons up there with us.

Once again it is hard to put into words what we were seeing. It was so quiet up there, so peaceful and what we were looking at was incredible. You could actually believe you were perhaps on the moon. There were so many cave entrances in the rocky outcrops where the early Christians used to live when life above became too dangerous from attack and they retreated to their underground cities with all their animals. They even had their churches underground.

We stayed aloft for an hour before we had an unbelievable smooth landing on the trailer and were soon off out of the basket. Time for some champers and cherry juice or just champers and some birthday cake for a guy from the other group. I was wondering what all the greenery was in the back of the 4WD but soon saw the guys decorating the balloon basket with flowers and branches making it pretty for photos. We all received our flight certificate and it was time to head back to the hotel for breakfast for everyone else but I went straight back to bed. Managed to each a small sesame bread roll the balloon company had given us on the way to the balloon. Maureen and John will head off on the tour this morning while I sleep and rest. We say goodbye to the tour group tonight as they head off on their drive to Ankara then Istanbul. We will be flying to Istanbul and connect directly to Tel Aviv for the next part of our adventure.

As expected, I slept most of the day and Charman has very kindly organised for me to do the same tour as today with another group tomorrow so I won’t miss out on the rest of Cappadocia. Better still at first he said it would cost 40euros but when he came back to confirm it, he said it was complimentary. He is such a nice guy and has tried to please everyone wherever he could.

Managed to eat a piece of bread and some mashed pumpkin tonight and that is still down so hopefully on the road to recovery now.

Off to bed again for more rest.

Goodnight All.

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