Balloon Flight over the Chateau

Frank and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary in September. On our ninth house-sit of this year we decided to book a balloon flight. Paying for our accommodation in kind (offering pet care) means we free up cash which can be spent on experiences otherwise beyond our budget. We’re staying in the Perigord Blanc region which is in SW France and the flight company which caught my eye, Montgolfiére Chateaux, operates from Beynac-et- Cazenac. Beynac is a picturesque town (arguably the prettiest in France) on the Dordogne which boasts an eponymous chateau. The chateau is much photographed because of its dramatic location on top of a rocky outcrop.


You know how it is when you arrange something online with a few clicks of the mouse then the day of the event dawns and you wonder what on earth had you been thinking? I did my maiden balloon flight in 2011 but when I looked on Tripadvisor the baskets used by this company looked worryingly tiny and cramped. Suddenly the idea of being more than 2,000 metres above the ground in a flimsy wicker basket gave me the collywobbles. During the last minute phone call to check weather conditions were good before we set off for Beynac, I was half wishing it would be called off…

Strangely enough though, when you are up in the air your nerves disappear completely. You don’t experience that giddy feeling and the pull of gravity that you get from the top of a high building. I wore ear protectors because the gas blowers are very noisy, but this isn’t obligatory. Not very flattering on the photos but anything is better than even more hearing loss! Pictures tell much more than words can. The camera was fixed on one of the balloon strings so that’s how the shots from outside the balloon are made.



About susancarey

Angela writes using pseudonym, Susan Carey. She has dual nationality, GB/NL and lives in Nijmegen. Susan has had short fiction published on multiple platforms and was a runner-up in the 2018 and 2017 Casket of Fictional Delights Flash Competitions. Her writing has also been published and performed by amongst others: Mslexia, Liars’ League, Reflex Fiction, the Casket and of course the wonderful Writers Abroad. In 2020 she published her short story collection, Healer. Tweets at @su_carey
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