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Impassioned voyages and of adventure, we are it. For my part, I am it since, child, I plunged my nose in a fabulous novel of Jules Vernes "Two years of holidays". Who could have said to me that one day we were going to meet another impassioned, fallen him also very small, in a novel of the same author "the turn of the world in 80 days", which was going to make it rock during the day the shortly after the ground to the airs. Because if we pass most of our time to furrow the roads, the sky on board its montgolfier furrows to him and in made its trade.


This aeronaut, Damien Merceron had, force of the destiny, to cross one day our path. Result, a fabulous voyage in balloon, unforgettable.

The departure day before, Damien calls us and after having taken the weather, he told us 7h00 on the carpark behind the input of Puy of the Insane one. We were pile per hour, not question of missing that…!
The preparations start then. One gets out the nacelle posed on the platform of the van which the father of Damien drives, and who will follow to us during all the voyage either into visual or by the radio. The flight in the montgolfier requires a "assistance on the ground" because it is very rare to be posed at the place of the departure. Thus as true professionals, "the Merceron team" does not leave any detail randomly.
The nacelle, a large wicker basket (it is what there is of more resistant to the possible shocks) is posed on the ground. At the interior, Damien fixes the 4 gas bottles. We lay down it on grass, then arrives a large bag which contains… the balloon. One carefully unfolds the envelope of the balloon which measures approximately 15m length for a volume of 3400m3, it is enormous..... I do not see of it the end, I would never have imagined that it can be also large. And at this point in time the serious things start. Damien and his father install a large ventilator, close to the mouth of the balloon and this one inflates gradually. Notre montgolfier becomes increasingly vain and ends up taking proud form, avoided its colors gold and azure. When the envelope is well dodue, the burners enter in action to heat the air, that takes approximately 10 minutes then the beautiful montgolfier is drawn up and the moment to climb in the nacelle arrived, and the imminent departure. And then, without almost realizing it, we rise in the Vendean, light airs like a feather.
Us here is between sky and ground suspended with this balloon, where only the wind will be a Master of our destination, our aeronaut who can only assist it to reduce it to go up or while actuating the burners which send this hot air. It should be known that the response time is rather slow nearly 10 seconds between the fact of heating and moment when it goes up. It is there that one reconnait the professional who can anticipate the changes of wind and the differences in temperatures of the air. Our pilot, the nose with the wind and the eye on the altimeter smells these differences instinctively and corrects while heating a little to go up, or on the contrary lets cool in order to show us a detail
We thus took off with the top of Puy of Insane, in full heart of the Vendée, by one morning calm. Fog with far, rays of the sun starting to bore the sky and so incredible silence. From time to time, the radio calls us, it is the father of Damien who asks him towards which place it moves, in order to follow us. There, veiled it, we see the white van which pulls over, a sign of the hand and it waits to see which road we borrow.
The extents of the large park and the cinéscènie to our feet, we are quite simply living a new spectacle with as principal actor the wind, in second role our balloon and us as one rare moment old observers.
Damien proposes to us to fly over the park, but like any actor has his whims, the wind decides to lead us elsewhere. The spectacle is not therefore less interesting, because with the wire of our soft displacement, it is the carpet of the life, that of the ground, which the wind deploys with our feet. Everywhere extents of cultivated fields making gleam their green and ochre checkerwork. Our balloon slightly tickling this large chess-board before off-setting us towards a new decoration, that of civilization. Imagine our balloon passing to the strong current houses, passing very close to the kitchen gardens and attracting some curious, benefitting from this sudden proximity to see moreover meadows the strange flying machine! and then, us here are set out again elsewhere, higher, further, passing to the top of a water point where our montgolfier will be reflected, to be delayed, pavaner, which it is amusing this reflection. Yes, you are beautiful said the mirror, then go, goes now, because it is time to bring back your passengers.
Then the aeronaut starts to seek a suitable place to be posed. Not obvious some times. We would have liked to pose to us where we had taken off, but that… not possible. Ah, this wind! we will thus finish our insane and delicious transfered air, in a field! Damien prepares with the landing, it gives us some instructions before and we cling, with the handles because the landing is less soft than takeoff, that shakes a little, one slips on a few meters and then, stop! it is finished, the beautiful one and soft voyage stops.
The van is déja at the end of the field and goes into reverse. During this time, the envelope lies down slowly on the ground and starts to be emptied. Then, one deflates the balloon for good to empty it remaining air, and one begins folding. In less time than it does not appear to with it, the balloon is lengthened. Then the large bag which contains the envelope is posed with with dimensions, and two people raise the bag by jumps of 1m50 while Damien charges the balloon in this large bag. The gas bottles are arranged and attached in the truck, there remain about it still 2 which are full. For reasons of security, it is good to have always reserve. Then it tower comes from the nacelle which regains its site.... Once very remballé, the collapsible table left the van and setting for the coffee!! hum… a good coffee accompanied by a good Vendean brioche with 10h00 of the morning right in the middle of an unknown field and afterwards of such emotions. Acknowledge how it is brilliant! and in more… we were entitled to a diploma!
Ah! it was really SIGNAL this voyage. One leaves light and one returns in charge of emotions. Once that one touched with the airs one sees the ground differently, one perceives the sky differently and one it is made a friend… the wind.

A balloon can carry from 4 to 5 passengers. Its endurance is 2 hours to see more according to conditions' weather. It is necessary to take off the morning or the evening before the sun does not heat and on a ground of at least 50mē. Average altitude is 300 with 600m or the strong current of the ground, and the speed of 50km/h. Once per annum, an aeronaut is subjected to strict medical tests and its seriously controlled hardware.

But to know some more about the conditions of such a voyage, go on: click on this link and Damien our aeronaut will have a pleasure of you of learning some more. We hope to have given you desire for trying the adventure!....
Then if you pass close to at his place, this superb experiment, it has a pleasure of controlling you........!! you ask him to try do not regret it.

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