Finally Spring is almost here after months of winds and rain.
On Saturday we had a marvellous clear and crisp day with light South easterly wind perfect for a nice Spring balloon ride.
Taking off from our usual field near the Pesa river, at 8:00 am we were airborne with beautiful views over the Florentine Chianti countryside. The fields were still covered in a thin veil of frost. We could see Florence behind San Casciano, and the cupola del Brunelleschi, the Duomo and the Campanile were clearly visible. Also the tower from Florence airport more to the North was blinking its strobe light.! We where in radio contact with air traffic control and with our new mode S transponder on board we were certainly visible on the radar screen.
At 2500 feet amsl views were stunning with all the local villages, from Impruneta to Certlado, San Gimignano, Poggibonsi and Siena in the distance clearly visible. At a speed of about 7 kts we gently floated towards Montespertoli and eventually near San Quirico we descended lower just over the ancient Casetello di Poppiano. Lowering down into the Virginio valley on final approach we spooked a family of wild boar running for life away from our huge balloon shadow. We landed at the edge of a large field just where the wild boar disapperaed into the woods. During our traditional Prosecco picnic with our passengers, I kept a good eye on the woods just in case the gang of pigs would come back to join breakfast!!
It was a truly nice flight, a good taste of all the marvellous Spring flights soon to come!