Flash Back Friday: Mount Avila, Venezuela


Halfway down Mount Avila the cars started swinging. The four of us in the car looked at each other. This wasn’t the normal, gentle swaying of a tram car that you would expect. It was violent. I looked out the window to the ground below. El Avila National Park spread below us. The tram at the top of the mountain had disappeared behind us and the city sat in the distance, but there was nothing but trees as far as I could see.


I looked over at my friends. One was looking up at something. I followed his gaze and saw red lights on the ceiling were flashing. By now everyone in the car was looking at the flashing light. I turned to look out the window to see other cable cars being thrashed around by the wind.

“What does that mean?” Someone asked.

No one answered. The lights on the other cars were flashing too. There was no way to call for help. Nothing that could be down. One person started to cry. We sat there no knowing what to do. This was out of our hands. Several minutes passed and the car started to slow down. The cableway station appeared in the distance.

The tram pulled into the station, doors opened, and we jumped out. “What happened?” someone asked in Spanish. The station operator just smiled at us.  We were off the tram. That was all that mattered.

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