Life List #12: Ride on a hot air balloon.
Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey.
This post should have been titled “How I almost didn’t ride on a hot air balloon in Cappadocia…”
On Thursday morning I woke up dark and early at 5am to get picked up for my hot air balloon ride. Really, it’s the thing to do in Cappadocia. I waited with two others from my hostel until the bus driver came to whisk us to the company’s headquarters for breakfast. It was dark and cold and the Nescafe and bread weren’t quite doing it for me. Why can’t they just skip the whole breakfast thing and let you sleep in a little longer?
We were then put back into buses to be brought to the launching site. We watched and took photos as they filled up the balloons. And then, I felt a few raindrops. And all of the fans stopped fanning at once. And the half-filled balloons started to deflate.
Because of the bad weather, the flight would be cancelled. Other companies already had balloons in the air but our guide said he didn’t want to take the chance. Some people were angry. Others upset. I was kind of indifferent because I still had two more days in Cappadocia.
So we packed back into the buses and had our balloon ride reservation transferred to the next day.
The next morning, at 6:30am, I was awoken by one of the hostel workers standing above me. I have no idea what he was saying through his accent and my sleepy haze but I eventually got “balloon.” Fuck. I had set my alarm for 5am again but, unfortunately, forgot to take it off of silent mode. I overslept. By an hour and a half.
A driver from the company soon was at our door. And he drove me straight to the launch site, where all of the balloons were already filled and filled with people. I jumped out of the car and climbed into the first one with free space. Moments later, we were in the air.
I don’t think I had time to think about my fear of heights. I was thinking more about the fact that I didn’t get a chance to pee before I left and kind of had to throw up. And then I was thanking god that I didn’t reserve an hour and a half-long tour because an hour was going to be way too long. And then I wondered if anyone has ever puked over the side before.
Despite all of that, it was really a lovely experience. The scenery was beautiful but I think everyone was more entranced by the sprinkling of balloons through the air.
So, with that, what almost wasn’t definitely was and I completed number 12 on my bucket list: Ride on a hot air balloon.
Or at least, Valena Bronno did…