Our balloon ride today enabled us to view the historic county of Suffolk. The wind was coming in from the northwest so Thetford Rugby club would be the ideal launch location. A telephone call to RAF Lakenheath informed them of our intentions and the American controllers gave us clearance to transit their busy airspace. We were airborne at 7.10 p.m. and climbed up to 4,500 feet picking up a steady 20 knots. This is ideal as for the first twenty minutes of the flight there is a high density of outdoor livestock beneath us, so at this altitude it will prevent any disturbance on the ground. At this altitude we can see Ipswich docks and Sizewell power station. As we pass to the west of Honington we start to descend down to 2,000 feet. We can easily view the town of Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket. Now overhead Baringham we spot a fallow field to our front and gently land in the parish of Hepworth after one hour ten minutes in the air. Our crew quickly obtain permission to retrieve the balloon and the farmer and his family join our passengers with a glass of champagne, enjoying the view of a Suffolk summer sunset.
What a wonderful evening, one of the best Christmas presents I have ever received. Well worth the wait.