From Saint-Émilion to…?

Even if you are not going up, these hot air balloons are something to marvel at.

Les Montgolfiades de Saint Emilion happens every year, the next one is 13th-15th October 2017.

Whether you prefer the just after dawn or just before sunset flights, you’ll have to wait until the last minute before they announce the take off location (due to wind direction).

You’ll spend the next few minutes in a mad rush to the car before trying to keep up with the convoy of cars making their way to the launch.

Saint Emilion vineyards
Saint Emilion vineyards opposite the launch location.

When you arrive you’ll find people standing behind ropes watching the hot air balloons being prepared.  Teams huddle around their gear, first rolling out their balloons,  setting up their baskets, compressed gas, burners and huge fans.  The real fun starts when they are slowly inflated.

If you can get past the barriers on to the main fields, you’ll be faced with ducking and diving as the balloons inflate, sometimes its hard knowing which way to turn next.   The sights and sounds of this colourful spectacle can be exciting when you are up close.  You’ll see men tugging on ropes furiously to steady baskets and guide the balloons as they rise, burners roar and the audience smile as they float away into the distance.

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If you are thinking about booking a flight don’t expect to get a destination point specified.  This of course, is due to wind direction, and perhaps, adds to the adventure of it all.  Here’s hoping I get to write a post on exploring the skies in a hot balloon next time!

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