A family from Boucherville got very frightened from Thursday to Friday night, after being stuck for ten hours at 3,500 meters above sea level, in one of the highest cable cars in the world, in Quito, Ecuador.
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“What a crazy adventure!” says Edith LeMay, the mother of the family, when she joined Newspaper, Minutes from catching a flight to the Galapagos Islands.
The Lemay-Pelletier family took the world by storm last year during their one-year trip around the world, aiming to impress their four children, Mia, Léo, Colin and Laurent, ages 12, 10, 8 and 6 respectively.
According to doctors’ predictions, three of them, Mia, Colin, and Laurent, will become blind when they reach their 30s.
Even if a backpacker family isn’t on their first travel adventure, M.I LeMay admits that his children were sometimes frightened as they ventured into Ecuador in the middle of the night.
Retinitis pigmentosa, which three of the children suffer from, means they can barely see anything without daylight.
Thursday, after spending a sleepless night on the plane that connected Montreal to Quito, the family decided to visit the country’s capital by going for a ride in the cable car, “to take it easy”.
But the activity turned into a nightmare.
After climbing and visiting the summit for a few hours, they got stuck for hours on their descent at the end of the day, without water or food.
The children of the Lemay-Pelletier family first took the cable car in Quito, Ecuador to visit them. They are seen here on a swing, at the top of the Pichincha volcano. Pictured, above, are Colin Pelletier, 8, Laurent Pelletier, 6 and under, Leo Pelletier, 10, and Mia Pelletier, 12.
Photo provided by Edith Lemay
The power outage completely immobilized the cable car, 2.5 km long. A total of 78 people are stuck there.
Over the hours the cold, when it was only 10 degrees Celsius, the darkness, the thick fog and the endless waiting, not knowing when and how help would come to their rescue, became agonizing, supporting the mother.
“pee in a ziplock bag”
“There was no toilet, and we had to urinate into a ziplock bag,” says MI Lemay, while the cabin doors were locked. One of his boys was also vomiting due to altitude sickness.
“When the firefighters finally got into our cabin, we dug through the door to try and get it open, but we just couldn’t. That ending was really tough, the kids were tired and they were starting to get scared,” says M.I Lemay.
Eventually, the cable car system was restarted and the family was able to descend from the cabin at the base of the mountain safely around 4 am. says mr.I Lemay, who would like to salute the work of firefighters in Quito.
Fortunately, no one was hurt or traumatized, the mother of the family provides for. “The kids did it like champs. They are in good spirits,” she said.
The family is now starting their stay in the Galapagos Islands for a few days. They will then return to Ecuador before traveling to Colombia. They are scheduled to return to Quebec at the end of August.
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”