Azores with height of bird’s flight
Balloon festival in the Azores, the mayor who plays the violin and sea adventures.
Azores — lost Paradise in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Volcanic lakes, millions of shades of green, bright flowers, blue ocean, black basalt, it would seem that these Islands have enough colors.
Otherwise decided by the organizers of the first festival of balloons ” I Festival Rubis Gás Balões Ar Quente “. Five intense days, close my eyes, and it seems that it lasted a few weeks. Now everything in order.
Lisbon accompanied us on Azores bright sun… the island of são Miguel was met by pouring rain. The fog hid the mountains, and the beauty of the Northern part of the island. Gusty winds are deprived of any hope of opportunity in the action to see and experience a flight in a balloon.
However, accustomed to changeable weather locals drizzling rain did not scare. Night stadium place called Rabo do Peixe has gathered hundreds of onlookers. On the football field next slim lined basket (with no balls, because he was a strong gusty wind). The pilots made a real fire show.
Accompaniment to the madness of three elements, was mix from DJ Tojó and electronic violin, which is quite a virtuoso master of the mayor of the municipality Alexandre Gaudêncio .
The days of the festival for participants began at 6 o’clock on the old airfield of the island of Sao Miguel Santana. Early in the morning the pilots and their assistants are expertly deployed and inflated balloons.
This process of the teams are brought to perfection: the installation of the baskets, checking of burner is the release of several impressive flames. Then gently unfold the balloon, anchor the straps to the basket. Include a large powerful fan that inflates the dome. The pilot begins to warm the air.
The balloon gradually leaves the ground and the crew climbs into the basket. The pilot unbuckles a safety belt and… the magic begins.
Sounds pretty simple. But at the moment when the balloon already inflated and ready to fly, may change the wind. And the trip have to be postponed, to avoid accidents.
An experienced pilot and President of the Federation Balonismo Aníbal Soares, noted that “the flights on the island of San Miguel is very technical. The pilot should always be ready for changing weather. It needs to assess the situation several steps ahead and to anticipate possible solutions. We’re not much short flights. But here on the Islands incredible landscapes — lakes, volcanoes, the ocean on both sides of the field. This fully compensates for the short journey.”
It should be noted that the weather on the Islands is sometimes reminiscent of a fairy tale “12 months”, with the only difference that there is no snow.
Air balloon festivals in Portugal is not a new trend. For the past 19 years in the Alentejo is an international annual festival, which attracts more than 50 teams from around the world, told us Aníbal Soares. “Festival on the island — this is our first sample. Here gathered a total of 15 teams. Was wanting much more. We couldn’t risk it. Although, as practice shows — the festival was a success. And I hope that this is only the beginning of a long journey” .
On other days the weather was favorable — twice a day at 6:00 and 18:00 visitors could climb and with bird’s-eye view on the island. Needless to say, the delight children, and many locals, when they got such a rare opportunity. Flight on the ball is incredible. You slowly, like a bird hovering in the air. Under my feet is indescribable landscapes, it remains only to relax and enjoy.
At the end of the festival at the municipal stadium, Ribeira Grande gathered more than 3 thousand people. Balloons appeared on the field in full glory. A bright dome in the darkness was lighted up with flames. DJ and the mayor once again boldly mixing the hits of different years. This time the General mood of the celebration captured each audience. “Burn! Burn!” picked up the audience shouts the leader, and the balls glowed like giant fireflies.
It was an incredible experience. Thank you, each participant that made the festival so bright, our pilot for an unforgettable flight in a hot air balloon. In the meantime, we come in and prepare many articles about the mid-Atlantic.
I would also like to thank you for the invitation of the organizers and sponsors of the festival: the Association Learn to Appreciate . Alentejo sem Fronteiras (school of pilots of balloons in Alentejo), the municipality of Ribeira Grande and the official sponsor Rubis Gás .