Monday, July 25, 2011

MAB 2011: Monday 25 July

We started the day with some slight rain, a rainbow and a nice reddish sunrise. After the briefing all the teams drove onto the field but there the weather only seemed to get worse. My dad and I found shelter against the drizzle and enjoyed some fresh breads from the patisserie at the press area. Eventually a sign was given for departure. Slowly all teams started unpacking and inflating their balloons. The weather got better and better. I was overwhelmed again by the enormous amount of balloons surrounding me. When wanting to take a ‘happy people ready for departure action picture’ German pilot Matthias Schlegel asked if I wanted to join. Ofcourse! Together with Matthias, Bastian and one of their friends I made one of my best flights ever. The abundance of balloons pleased Matthias’s team, who’s present at the Mondial Air Ballons for the first time. I’m sure they’re hooked now and will come back whenever possible. What a flight… The wind took us all over the launch area, a beautiful sun flower field and then back to the Chambley airbase again. Many balloons were clustering together, drifting over the field and back. After the event I’ll post some pictures of this flight which will illustrate the great ambiance way better than words can.
The evening flight can be concluded in only a few words: a lot of waiting, wind and the smell of burnt fabric. The pilots that eventually took off left the launch area almost immediately while still two big rain fronts were visible on both sides of the field. Gertjan Veldman was so kind to bring me and my dad a bag of crisps; we were definitely in need of that after all the walking and the cold of the last few days. The evening ended with the Brits and Americans again. French cheese, champagne, more crisps, and so on. Tasty food, some drinks and a bunch of ballooning people is a very nice combination! Now off to bed again. These long days and short nights are heavy to survive, but definitely worth the tiredness.