-Hot Air Balloon Ride
I always wanted to experience a Hot Air Balloon ride, and what do you know dreams do come true.
4,000 ft. in the air overlooking Hunter Valley, the hot air balloon slowly moves up and down, without any sudden jolts or harsh turbulence. The region we are flying over is famous for its outstanding vineyards. Wine buffs travel here to indulge in wine tasting; others plan a weekend getaway to try everything this region has to offer.
The valley stretches for miles, and although it’s cloudy, I can see wineries everywhere I look, small towns and endless mountain ranges. Climbing higher and higher, reaching the clouds the temperature doesn’t change much, nor is it cold or warm, not even windy, the weather is just perfect to watch a breathtaking sunrise. On the horizon, a bright yellow sun starts to come up, shining brightly onto a white blanket of clouds that covers most of the valley. Stunning!
For someone who is afraid of heights, I loved every second of this unbelievable experience. Going up above the clouds the sunrise was magnificent, all around not a sound except the balloon once in awhile being filled up with hot air by our expert technician.
My trip was a new year’s gift (Beyond Ballooning), and I wasn’t supposed to know the price, however, after some research and checking with my partner in crime I can say that we spend USD 380 for two people. The price includes a 40 to 60 min ride on the air balloon (depending on the wind and weather conditions), in-flight photos, and a delicious breakfast. Now normally I would have expected the images not to be good and the meal to consist of toast and jam with a coffee, however, everything was perfect, and breakfast was yummy. Drink champagne, coffee, tea or freshly squeezed juice, eat an omelet, poached eggs, scrambled, whole wheat or gluten-free toast, vegetarian or vegan, not a problem they have you coved at this hotel. Everything was delicious. The meal was prepared and served at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, one of the best award-winning hotels around. Pictures were free and easy to download from their website.