By Lisa on May 23, 2016 with Comments 1
It’s Mallorca Monday and I have a really great experience to share with you…
Hot air ballooning in Mallorca.
Last week, for the first time ever I went in a hot air balloon. And I loved loved loved it.
The weather in Mallorca had been a bit iffy and the day we were actually supposed to go it got cancelled due to strong wind or wrong wind, I can’t quite remember.
I was taking my mum for her birthday and she was only in Mallorca for a few days so that gave us a very small window of time.
I was already prepared for bad news when I called Mallorca Balloons last Friday to confirm if we would be able to do it on the Saturday morning or not.
“Yes, everything is confirmed and you need to be here tomorrow morning at 6:30am,” was the simple answer I got.
Wow, I couldn’t believe it. We were on! I couldn’t wait to tell my mum. I didn’t have to wait long as we were dining at Maria Salinas Restaurant in Mancor de la Vall that same evening. My mum was as thrilled as I was; hot air ballooning was something she had always wanted to do. It would be the first time for both of us.
Hot Air Ballooning in Mallorca
So the very next morning I was outside my mum’s hotel at 5.30am with my GPS ready to go.
It took around 45 minutes to reach the globodromo just outside Manacor. We had allowed an hour so we were early and the staff hadn’t arrived yet.
But after a short while the base was buzzing with activity as eager participants like us drank coffee and filled out forms (trying not to let others see the part where we had to write down our weight!) and meanwhile, the staff were pulling out all the equipment we would need for the ride from a hangar and attaching trailers to the vans.
We were introduced to the team who were all very friendly, and we watched as Carlos, who would later be our pilot, let off a small party balloon into the air to see which way the wind was blowing. I’m sure it was actually more technical than that, as he had a monitoring device in his hand and paid close attention as the balloon soared up higher than the eye could see.
After less than five minutes he announced that we were going to Montuiri. So we all climbed into the vans and set off.
During the journey, Carlos explained that we were setting off from Montuiri because of the wind conditions. He explained that they can set off from all over depending on conditions.
After ten minutes we pulled up into the car park of Orquidea, the pearl factory and outlet, and started unloading the balloons and baskets. We were given a talk and were told that we could help set up the balloons. We were given strict instructions about which part of the basket we would have to get in as it all had to be balanced with our weight.
It was incredible as the huge balloon poured out of its relatively small sack and stretched right across the car park.
Large fans were set up to blow air into the balloon and the propane gas was charged into the burners that would help us move higher or lower in the air.
Before we knew it the balloon was almost up and ready to go. Carlos had told us that when the balloon was completely ready it would pull the basket (which was laying on its side at this point) upright and that this was the moment when we had to rush to the basket and climb in.
Suddenly it was up and Carlos was shouting to go. Sixteen people made a mad dive for the basket, fearful that it would go up without them or worse; with them half in and half hanging out!
Of course everything was much more controlled than that and the enormous contraption was secured to one of the vans by a rope. It was so huge compared to the van that I half imagined the balloon going up with the van dangling down from the rope, swinging like a pendulum!
Once everyone was in, Carlos was just finishing to charge the last of the bottle of gas but the balloon wanted to get going! The whole basket moved from side to side across the carpark scraping on the ground and would have gone further had it not been for the rope tethering us to the van.
Then the gas was finished and it was time to go. We were finally released from the van and there was nothing holding us in place. I had expected, from the way the balloon had been straining, to go shooting up into the air, but no, we just continued moving slightly from side to side rising gently until the underside of the basket was no longer scraping on the ground and we were airborne.
So gently and calmly the ground moved further and further away and the clouds got closer.
It was a wonderful feeling and so smooth and gentle.
After just a few minutes we were high above the trees and buildings and could see the other balloon undergoing the same process as ours had as the next group prepared to fly.
During the journey there was not one bump or jerk; the whole thing went so smoothly and gracefully. We felt weightless as we soared over trees, fields and quarries.
We could see the city of Palma, the Tramuntana Mountains, the Bay of Alcudia and even Cabrera Island.
We could see cars moving down on the roads, people out walking their dogs and even rabbits and sheep in the fields. One girl in our basket even saw her house as we sailed right over her neighbourhood.
Carlos had told us that we couldn’t control where we went as the wind had full control of that but that the balloon could turn around and go up and down.
We’d go high, up to 1500 ft, soaring over the the island, and then we’d go low, just clearing the tops of the trees, practically going through someone’s back garden.
My mum absolutely loved it and so did I. We didn’t want to get out.
But all too soon our hour was up and we had to land. Carlos had told us that we could land anyway necessary and he manoeuvred us down as we approached the field he had his eye on. There are no gears on a hot air balloon and there’s no slowing down; you just have to brace yourself and land.
We had been warned beforehand that there are two types of landing: the first one is the smooth one when there’s no wind and you just go down and the basket stays upright and that’s it.
Today was a windy day. In fact, Carlos told us that we’d travelled a record distance in that amount of time thanks to the wind.
On a windy day, you come down, land and then the basket topples over onto its side. Ouch.
We were getting closer and closer to the ground. Everyone was standing, clinging on to the straps for dear life. We seemed to be moving so fast…
Suddenly we were down with a big bump. We did a massive hop forward and then another one and then finally our basket came to a stop…
Until it leaned dangerously to one side.
The basket was teetering its edge; neither vertical nor horizontal. We were just waiting for what felt like an age to topple over and be crushed by the rest of the passengers, when slowly, very slowly, the basket righted itself and stood on its base leaving everyone on their feet instead of on their backs.
There was a collective sigh of relief and we were able to enjoy watching as the other balloon came down beside us and did exactly the same as ours had done. Then we were allowed to climb out of the basket.
After putting all the stuff away, we were picked up by the vans to be taken back to base for breakfast.
What a fantastic experience.
If you are considering trying out a hot air balloon in Mallorca I can’t recommend it enough.
All opinions on InMyShoesTravel are my own and I always pay my own way. When I went on the hot air balloon in Mallorca there was no mention of blogs, posts or reviews.
I would like to remind you that all the photos used on InMyShoesTravel.com are my own unless otherwise stated.
You can see my whole collection of Travel Photos here.
About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....