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Detailed Timelines for Seasons 1-4


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#1

strategery

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Posted Nov 15, 2005 @ 4:21 PM

BACKGROUND

Between the release of the TAR1 DVDs, the rebroadcasts on GSN, and the general suckitude of TAR8, I thought it would be (more) interesting to try to create detailed timelines for the first 4 seasons of TAR –- of the kind now available in the Gabbery forum for seasons 5 and later.

My understanding is that such detailed timelines were never created for the early seasons. They may exist for TAR4, though I saw only two episodes with detailed timelines at TARFlies.

Clearly this effort starts out owing a great debt of gratitude to Rinaldo and others who helped create the overview timelines for each season –- and the write-ups for first season will owe a lot to Team Guido and particularly Brennan for all the info they have provided over the years.

Since we don’t have the structure of the once-a-week broadcasts to follow here, I would like to suggest –- repeat suggest –- two ground rules:
  • That we proceed in chronological order through the episodes and seasons;
  • That we wait at least a week before posting a new timeline, so folks have time to examine and comment on the latest one before moving on.
Since these are for old seasons, I thought adding them to the existing timeline thread would be confusing; thus the new thread here. I have a few more of these write-ups for Season 1 episodes in various stages of development but obviously would not –- and could not –- have any objection if others want to take a shot “timelining” an episode or a season.

So, without further ado, here goes:

SEASON 1 -- LEG 1

Thursday March 8, 2001


We open with Phil standing on top of Carnegie Hall Tower in New York City. In an odd close-up shot, he says that 22 people have “decided to take a break from their everyday lives and embark on a race around the world for one million dollars.”

The 11 teams are secluded inside a bus that is shown crossing the Manhattan Bridge, and then arriving in Central Park. Each team exits the bus in turn:

1) Frank/Margarita: Separated Parents
2) Paul/Amie: Engaged
3) Kim/Leslie: Teachers & Roommates
4) Lenny/Karyn: (Inexplicably) Dating
5) Dave/Margaretta: Grandparents
6) Matt/Ana: Married (also Deadheads and Doofuses)
7) Joe/Bill: Life Partners (and hereafter, Team Guido)
8) Pat/Brenda: Working Moms
9) Rob/Brennan: Lawyers & Best Friends
10) Nancy/Emily: Mother & Daughter
11) Kevin/Drew: Fraternity Brothers

The teams walk briefly through the park and assemble in front of the Bethesda Fountain (roughly level with 72nd Street), were they receive instructions from Phil.

Money: $90

Once Phil says “go,” teams run (or Frats walk) up the steps to retrieve their first clue, which tells them to fly to Johannesburg, South Africa on one of 3 flights. (It’s about 8,000 miles away as the crow flies, or about 9,000 via Milan or Zurich.) Teams then scatter to leave the park and deduce that they must go to the ridiculously confusing JFK airport (map).

Most teams take a taxi (about $30-$40 excluding -- ahem -- tip), with Team Guido apparently catching one on Central Park South, Rob/Brennan on Central Park West across the street from the Dakota building, and Frank/ Margarita on 5th Avenue. Paul/Amie and Matt/Ana, however, take the subway. Perhaps having gotten on the C local by mistake, Paul/Amie change trains at Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn (heading upstairs for the A Express platform).

Order of arrival at JFK is not shown in many cases, but since seats to J’burg are first come/first served, it seems likely that teams reach the airport in the same order that they sign up for the flights, as follows:

1st Flight (Terminal 3): South African Air #202. This is presented as a direct flight, and (per Leslie’s comment) is limited to 5 teams:

1) Team Guido;
2) Frank/Margarita;
3) Rob/Brennan;
4) Pat/Brenda (who per Team Guido were the first ones to reach the terminal but got held up by security); and
5) Lenny/Karyn.

(Frank says one of the flights will depart at 5:55, and I found a current SA flight #204 departing JFK at 5:55PM, stopping for an hour in Dakar, Senagal, and arriving in Johannesburg at 5:05PM the next day. Oy!)

2nd Flight (Terminal 4) Swiss Air #101, via Zurich:
6) Kim/Leslie; and
7) Dave/Margaretta.

(Came up empty here; their flights from JFK to J’burg now seem to involve an 11-hour layover in Zurich.) It’s not clear if there were only 2 spaces or if only 2 teams booked this one.

3rd Flight (Terminal 1) Alitalia #605, via Milan:
8) Paul/Amie;
9) Nancy/Emily;
10) Kevin/Drew; and
11) Matt/Ana.

(Paul says one of the flights departs at 6:25, and I found an old Alitalia #605 from JFK to Milan departing at 6:25PM and arriving Milan at 8:05AM. Apparently Alitalia does not fly directly from Milan to J’burg any more.)

Friday March 9, 2001

Upon arrival, teams find their next clue in the Johannesburg International Airport (originally, Jan Smuts International Airport). They are told to “head to” Lanseria Airport and sign up for one of four charter flights from Ryan Blake Air, again first come/first served. (Sound familiar? It no longer serves that airport, and had a serious crash in Africa in 2003.)

Aside from the first 5 teams, order of arrival at Lanseria is not shown but largely tracks the arrival times in J’burg. (I’m guessing this was provided transportation; we see no teams paying their drivers, and b/w the taxi to JFK and the optional driver to follow, they wouldn’t have enough money to pay for another taxi here -- but most teams did all three.) Upon arrival, teams sign up for a flight for the following morning but are not told its destination -- and yet nobody complains about being made a prisoner!

Teams spend the night at Shumba Valley Lodge (this map shows that it’s very close to Lanseria Airport, near the town of Randburg and northwest of J’burg.) Rob says it’s about a half-hour drive from J’burg airport. Sunset in J’burg at that time of year was at about 6:30PM; Team Guido is shown entering their room at about sunset, while on the DVD Drew says they arrived at Shumba at night and Kim and Leslie are shown in their van to Lanseria at night.

TO BE CONTINUED (Long post first time -- shouldn’t happen again)

Edited by strategery, Jan 4, 2006 @ 11:51 AM.


#2

Miss Alli

Miss Alli

    Stalker

Posted Nov 15, 2005 @ 6:22 PM

I'm going to move this and let you do it as a project in Whimsy. We really aren't designed to have you publishing gigantic documents, but I'll move it over there and you can work on it. But it can't sit in a regular forum section.

#3

Paris in Spring

Paris in Spring

    Couch Potato

Posted Nov 15, 2005 @ 10:34 PM

Something I’ve really been missing!
Existence of TAR4 timelines? I may be able to help.
Even the strangest places have websites!

#4

strategery

strategery

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Posted Nov 16, 2005 @ 10:20 AM

Okey, Dokey. Here's the rest of LEG 1:

Saturday March 10, 2001

1st Charter at 6:00am: 1) Team Guido; 2) Frank/Margarita; 3) Rob/Brennan.
2nd Charter at 8:00: 4) Pat/Brenda; 5) Lenny/Karyn
3rd Charter at 10:00 (sign-up order unclear): Dave/Margaretta; Kim/Leslie
4th Charter at 12:00 noon (sign-up order unclear): Paul/Amie; Nancy/Emily; Kevin/Drew; Matt/Ana.

On the DVDs, Kevin says this was about a 3-hour flight (with no bathroom). Teams arrive at Livingstone Airport in Zambia, about 600 miles from J’burg. (The town is named after the explorer David Livingstone, who was the first Westerner to discover Victoria Falls -- lots of info here -- and who named them. So the episode could have been called “Dr. Livingstone, I presume.”)

Teams find their next clue on marked vehicles. It tells them to “Keep and eye out for the smoke that thunders, then walk the knife’s edge.” (The local name for the falls, Mosi-oa-Tunya, means “smoke that thunders.”) Teams can hire a driver (one says the charge is $50 and this is apparently the standard driver fee for TAR1) but must navigate themselves. Teams NOT hiring a driver are Rob/Brennan, Lenny/Karyn, Paul/Amie, and Matt/Ana.

The order of arrival at Victoria Falls and at the Knife’s Edge clue box are generally not shown (though Brennan has said they arrived first at the clue box). The next clue instructs the teams to “. . . get yourself to dry land at Abseil Zambia, top of Batoka Gorge.” (Here is a terrific map showing everything else that’s involved in this leg, from the company called “Abseil Zambia” that runs the zip line. Note in particular the “Big Tree” [™ Drew] that marks the turnoff to Songwe Boulevard [™ Kevin] and Mukuni Village. Apparently “abseiling” is rappelling.)

At this point teams also receive the clue for finding the Fast Forward Pass [sic]. The clue is in the form of a riddle: “A watched BLANK never BLANKS.” Team must figure out that the expression is “a watched POT never BOILS” and thus that they must climb down to an area known as the Boiling Pot, which is near the base of Victoria Falls (and represents the start of Batoka Gorge).

Rob/Brennan reach the Boiling Pot first, win the Fast Forward Pass [sic], and are directed to climb back up to the top of the gorge and make their way to the pit stop in nearby Songwe Village. (Dave/Margaretta also attempt to claim it, but are too late.) Phil then informs us that Rob/Brennan are in the lead, followed closely by Team Guido, Frank/Margarita, and Lenny/Karyn. In the “middle of the pack” are Pat/Brenda, Kim/Leslie, and Dave/Margaretta. Trailing teams are Nancy/Emily, Matt/Ana, Paul/Amie, and Kevin/Drew.

When they find Abseil Zambia, teams encounter a:

DETOUR
Air or Land
Air--“To travel by air, take a quick ride along the zip line, then a fast swing down to the bottom of the gorge.”
Land--“To travel by land, take a long walk down the trail to the bottom of the gorge.”

All teams choose Air and are shown starting and completing the task in the following order:

1) Team Guido
2) Frank/Margarita
3) Pat/Brenda
4) Lenny/Karyn
5) Leslie/Kim
6) Dave/Margaretta
7) Nancy/Emily
8) Paul/Amie
9) Matt/Ana
10) Kevin/Drew

At the bottom of the gorge teams receive their next clue: “Good work. Now drive yourself to Songwe Village. Warning: The last team to check in will be out of the race [sic].”

Team probably arrive at Songwe Village in the same order they left the Detour, except that Paul/Amie pass Nancy/Emily on the way, and Matt/Ana get lost, allowing Kevin/Drew to pass them. Upon arrival, teams encounter a:

ROADBLOCK

Hint: No hint is shown.

Full clue: “One of you must cook a bowlful of this African delicacy. With the help of your teammate, eat it all before checking in at the Songwe Village fire pit.” See this post for an assessment of who actually did the RB. Teams are also told they can eat the egg raw, and in many cases both racers seems to help with some aspect of the cooking task.

At the RB, Kevin/Drew swallow the egg raw and must pass Nancy/Emily, who appear to struggle with it and lose a lot of time to Paul/Amie. Pat/Brenda are not shown at the RB (but obviously must have done it). Matt/Ana are not shown performing the task and are probably allowed to skip it and head straight for the pit stop when they arrive (Karyn says they did not arrive until after other teams had gone to bed).

Teams then walk to the pit stop and arrive in the following order:

1) Rob/Brennan at 11:23am
2) Team Guido at 11:37
3) Frank/Margarita at 12:05pm
4) Lenny/Karyn at 1:52
5) Pat/Brenda at 3:35
6) Kim/Leslie at 5:33
7) Dave/Margaretta at 6:24*
8) Paul/Amie at 5:50*
9) Kevin/Drew at 7:09
10) Nancy/Emily at 7:26
11) Matt/Ana much later, and they are eliminated.

* While Dave/Margaretta are shown reaching the mat before Paul/Amie, they depart the next leg 34 minutes afterwards (with no explanation for the change), so either Paul/Amie got a major time credit or (more likely) Dave/Margaretta got some minor penalty.

Or could it be that several of the last teams got penalties, since it should have been dark by 7:00pm (but it’s still light when they arrive at the mat)? In the next episode, Karyn says the last teams would be leaving the pit stop at about 6:00am, which would imply arrivals around 6:00pm here -– but she could have been mistaken.

Edited by strategery, Sep 29, 2006 @ 4:14 PM.


#5

strategery

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Posted Nov 22, 2005 @ 11:22 AM

SEASON 1 -- LEG 2

Sunday March 11, 2001


Teams depart from the Songwe Village pitstop:

1) Rob/Brennan at 11:23pm (Saturday)
2) Team Guido at 11:37 (Saturday)
3) Frank/Margarita at 12:05am
4) Lenny/Karyn at 1:52
5) Pat/Brenda at 3:35
6) Kim/Leslie at 5:33
7) Paul/Amie at 5:50
8) Dave/Margaretta at 6:24
9) Kevin/Drew at 7:09
10) Nancy/Emily at 7:26

[The last two or three departure times seem odd. Sunrise in Livingstone was at 6:18am, but the sun is not up when those team leave the mat. Yet the game reserve opened at 6am, and Bill and Joe are seen (on the DVDs) leaving it at 8am when it’s quite sunny. Between this and the arrival time oddity noted above I say . . . Hmmmm.]

Money: ??

Their first clue reads: “You’re well acquainted with Songwe Villiage. Now make your way to Songwe Museum.” They are not told it is a mere 100 yards away. Teams waste various amounts of time finding it and arrive in the following order:
  • A gaggle of top dogs -- Rob/Brennan, Frank/Margarita, and Team Guido
  • Lenny/Karyn
  • Kim/Leslie
  • A gaggle of underdogs -- Paul/Amie, Dave/Margaretta, and Nancy/Emily
  • Kevin/Drew
Meanwhile, Pat/Brenda -- having looked in vain for the Museum -- decide to go for the Fast Forward pass. The clue reads: “If you know what to do, then there’s one name for you: Bundu.” They discover that this refers to Bundu Adventures (sadly, its web site is no longer operative), which conducts white water rafting trips down the Zambezi River below Victoria Falls (i.e., in Batoka Gorge). Pat/Brenda reach Bundu after sunrise -- and per the interview posted below it took 5 hours, so they arrived at about 8:30am. After shooting several rapids, they win the Fast Forward and are directed to the pit stop at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris -- a journey of about 6,000 miles (interactive map of Paris).

At Songwe Museum, the remaining teams encounter a:

DETOUR
Near or Far

Near--Teams must travel to a nearby game reserve, which is (they are told) 20km away and is located within Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls) National Park. (Again, the terrific map shows the Game Park.) There, they have to photograph three supposedly hard-to-find animals. (They must get shots of 3 of the following 5 animals: zebra, giraffe, buffalo, impala, rhinoceros). They must take their photos to Mukuni Village to get their next clue.

Far--Teams must travel to Chobe National Park (map) in neighboring Botswana 110km away (one way?) to photograph an easy-to-find elephant. (Presumably this photo also has to be exchanged for the next clue, requiring a long trip back to Mukuni Village.)

Whichever option they choose, teams are given Polaroid cameras and a limited supply of film.

All teams choose Near. Only the first three teams arrive at the game reserve before it opens at 6am; per Brennan, Kim/Leslie arrive as they are leaving (at about 8am). Teams arrive at Mukuni Village and complete the Detour as follows:

1st group: 1) Frank/Margarita; 2) Team Guido; 3) Rob/Brennan
2nd group: 4) Kevin/Drew (who have gained substantial ground); 5) Lenny/Karyn
3rd group (order unclear): Paul/Amie and Nancy/Emily
Later (?): Dave/Margaretta, Kim/Leslie

Chief Mukuni performs a traditional spitting ritual, then gives each team their next clue: a figurine of the Eiffel Tower with a yellow tag on one of its legs [ahem].

Teams must then return to Livingstone Airport and sign up for one of several charter flights back to Johannesburg for the flight to Paris. Pat/Brenda appear to get the first charter by themselves -- maybe there was a special charter for the FF winners? The next charter leaving at 11am contains Rob/Brennan, Team Guido, Frank/Margarita, and Kevin/Drew (who reached the airport at about 10:50). Other charters are not shown, though on the DVD Kim/Leslie are seen taking a picture next to their plane in twilight. This is probably a 3-hour flight.

Checking March 2003 (oldest date available) using Airwise, there are a large number of flight options from J’burg to Paris, including 1) direct flights on South Africa Air (SAA), Air France, and Alitalia leaving about 8:45pm and arriving between 6:15 and 7am; 2) British Airways and SAA flights leaving at 9:15pm and arriving via London at 11am; 3) a 10:10pm SAA flight via London arriving at 11:35am; and 4) an 11:35pm KLM flight via Amsterdam, arriving at 12:30pm. Amie can be seen jotting down an Air France flight that leaves at 20:35 and arrives at 8:35.

Based on arrival times at the mat and airport footage, my guess is:

1st flight: Pat/Brenda (Air France, per The Australian)
2nd flight: Frank/Margarita; Team Guido; Rob/Brennan
3rd flight: Kevin/Drew and Lenny/Karyn (involving a connection and arriving “an hour later”?)
4th flight: Paul/Amie and Kim/Leslie
4th or 5th flight: Dave/Margaretta and Nancy/Emily

Monday March 12, 2001

Upon arrival at Charles De Gaulle Airport, teams make their way into Paris by RER train (Team Guido), bus (Rob/Brennan), or taxi. All options take about 35-45 minutes. When teams arrive at the Eiffel Tower and find the clue box, they encounter a:

ROADBLOCK

Hint: “This task requires strong legs and keen eyes.”

Full Clue: “Climb to the balcony of the 2nd floor and check out the telescopic view. We hear it’s monumental. Keep that in mind: Monumental.” They are not told that they need to find the route marker flag (with the word “MONUM” sewn on it), which sits atop the Arc de Triomphe.

Teams take the RB in the following order:

1) Team Guido (BILL)
2) ROB / Brennan
3) FRANK / Margarita
4) KEVIN / Drew
5) LENNY / Karyn
6) PAUL / Amie
7?) Dave/ Margaretta [ahem]
8?) Nancy / EMILY
9?) KIM / Leslie

Despite stealing their cab, Kim/Leslie appear to reach the Eiffel Tower after Paul/Amie, and then lose more time looking for the clue box. (On the DVD Leslie says they wasted 2:15 here, and 3 hours in Livingstone). Lenny/Karyn’s problems with the RB cause them to lose considerable ground, and ultimately they complete it tied with Nancy/Emily. Dave/Margaretta both climb the stairs, learn the clue from Paul and figure out the pit stop location, then climb down and find the clue box.

Teams then make their way by taxi to the Arc and arrive at the slippery mat in the following order:

1) Pat/Brenda at 9:06am
2) Team Guido at 11:38
3) Rob/Brennan at 12:11pm
4) Frank/Margarita at 12:18
5) Kevin/Drew at 12:27
6) Dave/Margaretta at about 2:00*
7) Paul/Amie at 2:18
8) Nancy/Emily at 2:23
9) Lenny/Karyn at 3:03
10) Kim/Leslie, soon thereafter, and they are eliminated from the race

* Dave/Margaretta receive a penalty for failing to complete the RB properly of 30 minutes plus time saved (from not having one racer run back up and down the stairs after they found the clue box), and start the next leg at 2:46am.

Edited by strategery, Apr 5, 2007 @ 2:03 PM.


#6

strategery

strategery

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Posted Dec 1, 2005 @ 4:59 PM

SEASON 1 -- LEG 3

Wednesday March 14, 2001


Following an extended pit stop, teams depart from the Arc de Triomphe:

1) Pat/Brenda at 9:06pm (Tuesday)
2) Team Guido at 11:38* (Tuesday)
3) Rob/Brennan at 12:11AM*
4) Frank/Margarita at 12:18*
5) Kevin/Drew at 12:27
6) Paul/Amie at 2:18
7) Nancy/Emily at 2:23
8) Dave/Margaretta at 2:46
9) Lenny/Karyn at 3:03

[*There's a clock at the pit stop that clearly reads 12:06 for Rob/Brennan and 12:09 for Frank/Margarita (and 11:33 for Team Guido). Why the discrepancy? Who knows, but it helps explain how F/M made it to the next clue box before closing time. All other times match.]

Money: ??

The first clue reads: “Big news awaits at Le Grande Roue, 9AM – 12:30AM.” Teams must figure out that this refers to the Ferris Wheel visible at the other end of the Champs Elysee. The first four teams (after realizing that it is still open) make it there before closing. The last 5 teams must wait overnight.

Kevin/Drew decide to go for the Fast Forward. Clue: “Visit a tea shop called Mariage Freres, Rive Gauche.” Address: 30-32, rue du Bourg-Tibourg, Paris, 75004, near the Hotel de Ville. Hours of operation: 10.30am to 7.30pm daily. Once there, teams must ask for a tea called L’aventurier. Kevin/Drew win the Fast Forward and get this clue: “Go directly to the next pit stop: Chateau of Les Baux de Provence. Check in at the top of the castle.” (Here’s an unscaled map of France.)

For the remaining teams, the Ferris Wheel clue is a:

DETOUR
Easy Walk or Tough Climb

Easy Walk--“Walk up to the cat sitting near Foucault’s Pendulum.” Teams must find the pendulum at the Pantheon (admission: 42 francs), not the one at the Museum of Arts and Crafts (Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers). The two museums are about the same distance from the Hotel de Ville -- a mile or so away -- but one is north and one is south. (Overview map of Paris and detailed interactive map). Very subtle hint: Both open at 10AM, but the Pantheon’s hours of operation (10AM-5:30PM) match the ones in the clue, while the Museum of Arts and Crafts is open until 6PM. Teams taking this option: Team Guido, Rob/Brennan, Frank/Margarita, and Pat/Brenda (who initially go to the wrong pendulum).

Tough Climb--“Climb 297 steps to ring Quasimodo’s bell.” Teams must figure out that this bell is at Notre Dame . . . oops, I mean Notre Dame Cathedral. Hours of operation: 10AM-4:45PM. Taking this option: Paul/Amie, Nancy/Emily, Lenny/Karyn, and Dave/Margaretta.

Teams complete the Detour and get their next clue as follows:

1) Team Guido
2) Frank/Margarita
3) Rob/Brennan
4) Paul/Amie
5) Nancy/Emily
6) Lenny/Karyn
7) Dave/Margaretta
8) Pat/Brenda

Next clue: “Find the man in the blue suit. He’s standing across from the Hotel de Ville.” (That’s City Hall, right?) There teams encounter, not a couple kissing, but rather a:

ROADBLOCK

Hint: Who’s seen Les Miserables? (OK, I made that up. Nobody says what the hint was.)

Full clue: “Descend to the sewer below and walk to the Place du Chatelet. You might want to watch your step.” Racers must first don a hazmat suit, harness, and boots. Pl. du Chatelet is two blocks away due west, and once in the sewer racers follow a marked path to it.

Teams start and finish the RB in the same order, as follows:

1) PAUL / Amie (2:0)
2) Lenny / KARYN (1:1)
3) Nancy / EMILY (0:2)
4) Rob / BRENNAN (1:1)
5) FRANK / Margarita (2:0)
6) Bill / JOE (1:1)
7) DAVE / Margaretta (1.5:0.5)
Somewhat later: 8) PAT / Brenda (1:0)

The next clue directs teams to the top of the castle at Les Baux, about 400 miles away. (I know, Phil said 300 –- he was wrong.) Teams travel by TGV train from the nearby Gare de Lyon. Teams may go to Marseilles (now about 3:10 by train) and take a taxi from there (per Mapquest, about 56 miles/70 minutes), or they can save an hour by getting off at Avignon (now 2:40 trip) and taking a taxi (18 miles/40 minutes).

A number of aspects of the remaining events are hard to reconcile. My first guess, discussed here, was that the main bunch caught a 1:15 train out of Paris. (Among other evidence, there’s a quick shot of the train board with the clock reading 12:12 and a train at 13 something -- I think, it’s hard to read -- to Avignon and Marseille. There’s also a shot of a clock tower outside the station reading 12:45 -- though no team is shown.) But that would not give Rob/Brennan and Frank/Margarita enough time to reach the mat by 4PM. Assuming they all caught an earlier train, it means several other teams lost even more time than I first thought.

So here are the particulars on my latest guess (updated to assume slower trains that took about 3.5 hours to reach Avignon and 4-5 hours to reach Marseille, and to reflect this post about Pat/Brenda's train troubles):
  • The current schedule shows TGVs departing Paris for Marseilles at 11:20, 1:20, 2:20, 3:20, and 4:20. (The current 2nd class train fare is about $110 per person for Avignon or Marseille.)
  • Kevin/Drew must have caught a train at about 11:00, reaching Marseille at about 3:00.
  • I have to assume the main bunch caught a train leaving Paris at about 12:00, arriving in Avignon at about 3:30 and Marseille at about 5:00.
  • Rob/Brennan, Frank/Margarita, and Team Guido get off at Avignon, with Team Guido taking another train and then a taxi and the others taking taxis directly to Les Baux.
  • Paul/Amie, Lenny/Karyn, and Nancy/Emily continue to Marseille -- and then take 2 hours to get to Les Baux from there. (TGV service to Avignon and Marseille was just getting started in 2001, so maybe their train got really delayed or maybe they just hit more traffic. No funny business with their arrival times at the pit stop, though -- it was just about sunset, which occurred at about 6:45.)
  • I now think Dave/Margaretta caught the next train at 1:15. When they reach Avignon, a clock reads 4:50, which is consistent with their arrival time at Les Baux and with that departure time from Paris.
  • Pat/Brenda could have made the 1:15 but buy the wrong tickets and end up on a 3:00 train. They are shown reaching Marseille in near darkness, so they probably arrived there at about 7:30pm.
Teams walk to the top of the castle and reach the pit stop as follows:

1) Kevin/Drew at 3:53pm
2) Frank/Margarita at 4:07
3) Rob/Brennan at 4:15
3) . . . er, 4) Team Guido at 5:04
5) Dave/Margaretta at 5:47
6) Paul/Amie at 6:47
7) Lenny/Karyn at 6:48
8) Nancy/Emily at 6:49
9) Pat/Brenda, perhaps 2-3 hours later, and they are eliminated

Any comments? Questions? Suggestions for getting a life? Anybody? Bueller?

Edited by strategery, Sep 29, 2006 @ 3:53 PM.


#7

strategery

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Posted Dec 9, 2005 @ 1:19 PM

SEASON 1 -- LEG 4

Thursday March 15, 2001


Teams depart from the castle at Les Baux de Provence as follows:

1) Kevin/Drew at 3:53AM
2) Frank/Margarita at 4:07
3) Rob/Brennan at 4:15
4) Team Guido at 5:04
5) Dave/Margaretta at 5:47
6) Paul/Amie at 6:47
7) Lenny/Karyn at 6:48
8) Nancy/Emily at 6:49

Money: ??

The first clue reads: “You’ve seen the Arc de Triomphe in Paris –- now find the smaller version at the Porte de France in the country represented by this flag. When you get there, find this man and say ‘Alsalama.’ One catch: You must travel by water from Marseilles -– and the ships are few and far between.” There is a handwritten note on the clue: “Warning: the last team to arrive at the pit stop will be ELIMINATED!” Teams are given a photo of the man they must find with the word “Alsalama” written on it. They must figure out that the flag is Tunisian and that the mini-Arc is located in the capital city of Tunis (map), which is 500 miles from Marseilles.

Also at Les Baux, teams are given the clue for finding the Fast Forward (it’s in the envelope with the first clue -- no separate green envelope this time). Per Brennan, the clue was: “Go fishing for the Fast Forward on board the ‘Kinsa’ in the port of Sidi Bou Said,” which is about 20km north of Tunis. (You can see the first part of this clue, also written by hand, when Lenny and Karyn are arguing at the ferry office.) No teams go for the Fast Forward.

Teams travel by taxi to Marseilles, about an hour away. They were told they could book passage on a cargo ship, which (per Team Guido) takes longer but leaves and arrives in Tunis earlier. But all teams end up on the same Tunisia Ferries passenger ferry instead. Per its web site, ferries in March leave Marseilles at 2PM and arrive in Tunis at 11AM the next day. (Although Phil VO’s that it’s an 18-hour trip, Brennan said in a recent interview that it took more than 20 hours -- and an 11AM arrival would fit in with the remaining schedule of events.) The current fare appears to be 107 Euros, excluding any “group discount.”

Friday March 16, 2001

All teams arrive in Tunis and take cabs to the Porte de France (French Gate), also known as Bab el Bahr -- a gateway to the ancient Medina section of Tunis, which is about 1 mile by ½ mile (map -- the gate is #21). Teams appear to greet the man and get their next clue as follows:

1) Lenny/Karyn
2) Rob/Brennan
3) Paul/Amie
4) Team Guido
5) Kevin/Drew
6) Dave/Margaretta
7) Frank/Margarita
8) Nancy/Emily

There they encounter a:

DETOUR
Fully Body Brew or Full Body Massage

Full Body Brew (alias “Choice A”)--Teams have to make their way through the crowded marketplace and find a café using only a picture of it. There they must order two Café du Rex. (The place they must find is Café Mnouche, which is located in Dar el Mnouche at 54 Souk el Letta and is not far from the Grand Mosque (map).)

Full Body Massage (alias “Choice B”)--Teams are given a large pictographic map of the Medina district on which a Turkish bath is circled. Phil says: “It should be easy to find but teams that choose this option will have to get a 20-minute massage.” The bath appears to be located just north of the Rue de la Kasbah near the western edge of the district (map).

All teams except Paul/Amie choose Full Body Brew. Teams complete the Detour as follows:

1) Lenny/Karyn
2) Rob/Brennan
3) Kevin/Drew
4) Dave/Margaretta
5) Nancy/Emily
6) Team Guido
7) Frank/Margarita
8) Paul/Amie

As their next clue, teams receive only a cigarette lighter with a picture of El Jem Coliseum and the words “El Jem” and “Tunisia” on one side, and “Go Here” on the other. Teams must figure out that this Roman Coliseum is about 200 kilometers (not miles, Phil) away (map of Tunisia).

Teams may get to El Jem via a faster but more expensive taxi or take a direct train that is cheaper but slower. All teams take a taxi except Rob/Brennan and Lenny/Karyn (who take the same train). According to this site, there is currently a train leaving Tunis at 1:05PM and arriving in El Jem at 3:37PM. (If you believe the editing, though, the train arrives after Kevin/Drew and Nancy/Emily have hit the mat.) Train fare appears to be about 9 dinar per person (roughly $6 at the official exchange rate), which is not much cheaper than a cab -- unless you get ripped off.

At this point, Phil says that the teams in front are Kevin/Drew, Team Guido, and Nancy/Emily; in the middle of the pack are Dave/Margaretta and Frank/Margarita; trailing teams are Lenny/Karyn, Rob/Brennan, and Paul/Amie. But Dave/Margaretta are forced to change cabs and exchange some money (possibly in Sousse), wasting at least 20-25 minutes (and they end up at least an hour behind all other taxi-takers).

The teams arrive at El Jem Coliseum and encounter a:

ROADBLOCK

Hint: “Who is not afraid of the dark?”

Full clue: “Take one torch and light it. Walk in a clock-wise direction around the coliseum until you find the ancient Gladiator ramps. Use them to descend to the cavern below. The sword of Hercules waits there, in the Pit of Death. Take ONE.”

When they retrieve the sword, the attached clue says: “Back toward the ramps, there are two lamps, near stairs both left and right. Go up those stairs and show your wares, then slide me home with all your might.” (More info on this task from Brennan here.)

Teams generally arrive at the Roadblock in the same order they finish and check in at the mat, except that Kevin/Drew arrive after Nancy/Emily, catch up to them while performing the task, and they complete it together. Racers performing the roadblock, roadblock count, and order and time of finish are as follows:

1) Team Guido (Bill (2) / Joe (1)) at 4:02PM
2) Kevin (1) / Drew (1) at 4:36*
3) Nancy (0) / Emily (3) at 4:36*
4) Frank (3) / Margarita (0) at 5:03
5) Paul (2) / Amie (1) at about 5:21*
6) Rob (1) / Brennan (2) at 5:22
7) Lenny (2) / Karyn (1) at 5:43
8) Dave (2.5) / Margaretta (0.5), at about 6:15 (per her watch), and they are eliminated

* Kevin/Drew reach the mat just before Nancy/Emily, but depart the next leg at 4:31. Paul/Amie arrive just ahead of Rob/Brennan, but are given a time credit due to production delays (ah, the good old days of time credits) and depart the next leg at 4:49.

Edited by strategery, Dec 9, 2005 @ 2:26 PM.


#8

SVNBob

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Posted Dec 13, 2005 @ 4:55 AM

Looking good strategery. Regarding the entire topic, could you do me a favor and send me an e-mail? I want to talk to you about an idea I had, but it's more appropriate as an off-forum thing.

#9

strategery

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Posted Dec 16, 2005 @ 12:51 AM

SEASON 1 -- LEG 5

Sunday March 18, 2001


Following an extended pit stop, teams depart from El Jem Coliseum as follows:

1) Team Guido at 4:02AM
2) Kevin/Drew at 4:31
3) Nancy/Emily at 4:36
4) Paul/Amie at 4:49
5) Frank/Margarita at 5:03
6) Rob/Brennan at 5:22
7) Lenny/Karyn at 5:43

The first clue is a picture of a globe monument with the word “Tataouine” written on it. Teams must figure out that this is a city about 250 miles (not 300) away (map). With it comes some additional information, including an instruction that says “Go to Tatouine” and a clue with this warning: “Last team to get to the next pit stop will be eliminated!” All teams take a taxi to Tataouine. Sunrise was a little after 6AM (though the sky still seems quite dark when Lenny/Karyn leave).

Money: At least $100 for the car and camel drivers, plus cab fare?

When teams reach the Tataouine globe they find marked cars with their next clue on them. They arrive in the following clusters:
1) Team Guido and 2) Kevin/Drew
3) Paul/Amie, 4) Nancy/Emily and 5) Frank/Margarita
6) Rob/Brennan and 7) Lenny/Karyn

Their next clue is a:

DETOUR

Listening or Puzzling

Listening--Per Phil, this task “requires teams to play a difficult game with walkie-talkies at . . . Ksar Hadada, which was used as a Star Wars movie set and is easy to find.” All teams take this option.

Puzzling--Per Phil, this task “requires team to solve a simple puzzle at . . . Ksar Ouled Soltane, which is hard to find.”

Teams may hire a driver for $50 but must navigate themselves using only a compass and a simple map. Teams hiring a driver are Kevin/Drew, Nancy/Emily, Rob/Brennan, and Lenny/Karyn. (Click on either Ksar link and you can open up a nice little map which shows all of the remaining locations on this leg – including the oasis pit stop as a dot in the middle of the desert. Both Detour options were about 15-20km from Tataouine, in opposite directions.)

At this point teams probably receive the clue for finding the Fast Forward (though I never saw any green); per Brennan it was “a picture of some cave near Tataouine that had an arrow and said ‘Go Here.’” No teams go for the Fast Forward. Teams also appear to get a page with an “Urgent Message” on it, possibly warning them about scorpions (Drew notes having gotten such a warning later).

Upon reaching Ksar Hadada, teams get this clue: “There’s a walkie-talkie hidden somewhere inside the caves which lie ahead. [‘Lie ahead’ gesture optional.] Use one of these walkie-talkies to find the other one. When you do, your next instructions will be loud and clear.” Teams arrive at and complete the Detour (which despite the editing must have been done one team at a time) in the following order:

1) Kevin/Drew
2) Team Guido (as they are reading the Detour info, I think Bill’s watch reads 9:55AM)
3) Nancy/Emily
4) Paul/Amie
5) Frank/Margarita
6) Lenny/Karyn
7) Rob/Brennan (finishing about 30-40 minutes after Lenny/Karyn)

The next clue reads: “Approximately 1 mile north of Guermessa -- no N -- you’ll see a sign that points the way to your next destination: Ksar Ghilane.” That is an oasis about 60km away; at least initially, the road there will be marked with yellow stones. (On the map mentioned above, Guermessa is the little dot next to the dot above the last “i” in Chenini -- and is itself hard to find. The “no N” may be to distinguish it from nearby Ghoumrassen, which could have other spellings.)

See Brennan’s post about how they found the route marker. Frank/Margarita say they were driving around for at least 3 hours, while for Paul/Amie it was more than 6 hours (at the pit stop, Rob notes that they got perhaps 100km off course). When teams reach it they encounter a:

ROADBLOCK

Hint: “Who wants to go for a ride?”

Full clue: “Climb onto the camel and follow the compass bearing 240 degrees to the flag flying in the distance. P.S. The player who doesn’t ride must walk alongside you.” For $50 teams can hire a camel handler, but it’s not entirely clear who does this. All teams are shown with a local accompanying them at some point, but that could have been for safety. Only Team Guido is seen with the local actually leading the camel or helping.

Once they reach that flag, the racer on the camel must grab the next clue, which reads: “Now follow compass heading 270 degrees until you reach the flag flying above the oasis campground.” Teams arrive at and perform the Roadblock as follows:

1) KEVIN (2) / Drew (1), who somehow managed NOT to get lost
2) Team Guido (Bill (2) / JOE (2))
3) Nancy (0) / EMILY (4)
4) ROB (2) / Brennan (2)
5) Lenny (2) / KARYN (2)
6) Frank (3) / MARGARITA (1)

Paul/Amie do not attempt the Roadblock. Teams arrive at the pit stop as follows:

1) Kevin/Drew at 12:02PM (mentioned and visible on mat clock)
2) Team Guido at about 12:25 (mat clock)
3) Nancy/Emily at about 12:50 (based on time gap next leg)
4) Rob/Brennan at 1:30 (mat clock)
5) Frank/Margarita at about 2:20 (time gap)
6) Lenny/Karyn at about 2:21 (time gap)
7) Paul/Amie at about 6:00*, and they are eliminated

* They arrive shortly before sunset, which occurred at about 6:30, and I think Paul’s watch reads 6 something as they are walking over to the mat.

Edited by strategery, Feb 3, 2006 @ 12:34 PM.


#10

strategery

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Posted Jan 5, 2006 @ 11:08 AM

SEASON 1 -- LEG 6

Monday March 19, 2001


Due to a sandstorm, teams are evacuated from the Ksar Ghilane pit stop and taken to the town of Gabes, about 75 miles away (go here for a map). Teams depart from the new pit stop more than 12 hours after they arrived, but with their order and time gaps maintained, as follows:

1) Kevin/Drew at 2:24AM
2) Team Guido at 2:46
3) Nancy/Emily at 3:12
4) Rob/Brennan at 3:52
5) Frank/Margarita at 4:42
6) Lenny/Karyn at 4:43

Money: $50

First clue: “Get to the Hotel le Palace in Tunis,” which is about 250 miles away. All teams take a taxi. (Frank wonders if there is a train or bus available -- and this site shows a train departing from Gabes at 5:00AM and arriving in Tunis at 9:53AM.)

Teams stay overnight at the hotel, apparently to avoid the start of an airline strike in Rome. According to this article, the strike did not begin until March 20th. But there must have been the threat of a strike; this site indicates that airline strikes were a common occurrence in Italy in 2001.

Tuesday March 20, 2001

Teams depart in the morning in the order in which they had arrived, with this clue: “Travel from Tunis to Rome and find the spot marked in this picture,” which is across the street from the Coliseum. [Anyone want to try recreating this clue this with Google Earth? Paris in Spring?] They are also told that “connecting flights are allowed.”

All teams take taxis to the nearby Tunis airport. Team Guido is first to arrive at about 9AM, followed by 2) Kevin/Drew, 3) Nancy/Emily, 4) Lenny/Karyn, 5) Frank/Margarita, and 6) Rob/Brennan. Faced with a controlled strike at the Rome airports, teams have difficulty findings flights but eventually make arrangements in the following order:
  • Team Guido on Swiss Air via Zurich, departing at 3:15PM and arriving in Rome at about 8:10PM.
  • Kevin/Drew, Nancy/Emily, and Rob/Brennan on Air France via Lyon, departing at 1:10PM and scheduled to arrive in Rome around 5PM. (They would have arrived in Lyon around 3PM, and there is currently an Air France flight from Lyon to Rome departing at 3:40PM and arriving at 5:05PM.)
  • Frank/Margarita on Tunis Air to London departing at 1:05PM and arriving at roughly 3PM London time.
  • Lenny/Karyn on a direct Tunis Air flight departing at 5:00PM and arriving in Rome at about 7:10PM.
Kevin/Drew, Nancy/Emily, and Rob/Brennan successfully negotiate Team Guido’s flying wedge and make their first flight. But their connecting flight from Lyon to Rome is cancelled. They fly instead to Milan, leaving after 7:30 (Air France now has a flight departing at 7:50PM and arriving at 8:45PM). Then they take a train to Rome, arriving (per a clock in the station) at 6:30AM the next day. (There is currently a direct train leaving Milan at 11:20PM and arriving in Roma Termini at 7:15AM.)

Frank/Margarita are unable to get a flight from London to Rome, so they fly to Geneva, spend the night in the airport, and take a Swiss Air (?) flight at 7AM that arrives in Rome at about 9AM. (The times listed here as “about” may be when teams actually exit the airport -- for example, Lenny/Karyn’s gate-to-gate time should have been about 1:20.)

In Tunis, teams also receive the clue for finding the Fast Forward (Margarita can be seen holding it in their taxi from the airport in Rome). Per Brennan, the clue was “something like ‘The Key to this Fast Forward is a Hole view of the Vatican.’ You had to go look through some famous keyhole to see the fast forward.”

As deduced by dogfoot75, they probably had to go to the “door in the piazza of the Knights of Malta at the end of . . . Santa Sabina. If you look through the keyhole of this door, you see an amazing vista of the city and the Vatican.” Here’s a picture with description and another picture. And here’s an interactive map of Rome -- click south about 11-12 times to find Santa Sabina, the San Alessio church and the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta. Or just search for Santa Sabina. On various sites, this is billed as “the only keyhole in the world through which you can see three sovereign states: Italy, the Vatican and . . . Knights of Malta.”

No teams go for (or even check out) the Fast Forward.

OOOPS, TOO LONG . . .

Edited by strategery, Jan 5, 2006 @ 11:31 AM.


#11

strategery

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Posted Jan 6, 2006 @ 12:03 PM

. . . LEG 6, CONTINUED

Once they find the clue near the Coliseum (attached to a Vespa scooter), teams encounter a:

DETOUR
Foot or Hoof

Foot--“Find this famous foot and your pace remains the same.” Teams are given a photo of a giant marble left foot, which was part of a huge statue of the emperor Constantine and which (per Phil) “almost anyone on the street will be able to identify.” It sits in the courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, which is located at Piazza del Campidoglio. Per the clue, hours of operation are 9:30AM to 6PM.

Hoof--“Find this elusive hoof and you may pick up speed.” Teams are given a partial picture of a statue showing the leg of a horse, which (they must figure out) is part of the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II located at the Altare Della Patria next to the Piazza Venezia. Teams choosing this option may take a taxi to their next destination. Per the clue, hours of operation are 10AM to 4:00PM.

Wednesday March 21, 2001

The remaining four teams arrive in Rome, retrieve the Detour clue at the Coliseum, and make their way to the Altare Della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) monument. (Sunrise was at 6:11AM.) Interestingly, the two Detour locations are VERY close to each other; see this map.

Initially, all teams choose Hoof and find the statue before it opens (Frank/Margarita arrive with only about 10 minutes to spare). But Lenny/Karyn switch to Foot (shouldn’t they have had to return to the Coliseum and re-declare?). They arrive after the museum has opened, but are the first to get the next clue: “After ‘Foot’, take a train to Castelfranco Emilia via Bologna,” some 200 miles away. (Map of Italy.)

When they arrive in Castelfranco Emilia (CE), the clue says they must “proceed to the following address.” They are not told that they are headed to the Pagani auto factory. (Address: Via dell’Artigianato, 5 - Vill. La Graziosa 41018 San Cesario sul Panaro.) The factory is just west of “downtown” CE; on this MapQuest map, zoom in 2 levels and look for Via Modenese and Via Dell’industria, then zoom in some more -- it’s the next street over. (The initial map also shows Sant'agata Bolognese to the NorthWest and Bologna to the SouthEast, as well as -- looking ahead -- Ferrara to the NNW.)

Once Hoof opens, the remaining teams get their clues and take taxis to the train station. Lenny/Karyn apparently had to walk to the station, which is about 1.5 miles away. This satellite image shows the Coliseum, Detour locations, and train station; so does this map.

All of teams taking Hoof make the same 10:30 train out of Rome (per a clock above Nancy/Emily); currently, there is a train that leaves Rome at 10:30 and arrives in Bologna at 1:12. A connecting train to CE departs at 1:27 and arrives at 1:42. Lenny/Karyn miss the 10:30 train due to a production error; per Phil they make “the next train” (currently, the next one departs at 10:55 and arrives in CE at 2:10, and the one after that departs at 11:30 and arrives at 2:42).

At Bologna, Team Guido and Frank/Margarita switch to a cab. (Per Mapquest, the drive to CE is about 20 miles / 40 minutes -- so ignoring the issue of getting a cab in CE, they didn’t save much time and probably arrived at the factory at about 2:00). Upon arrival in CE, the remaining 3 teams learn that there are only 2 taxis available; Nancy/Emily agree to wait. When teams arrive at the auto factory, they encounter a:

ROADBLOCK

Hint: “For someone who likes to take things slowly.”

Full clue: “Drive to your next pit stop . . .” Per Phil, the racer must drive a Smart Car to the “the town square of Sant’agata Bolognese, a small village about 10 miles away” (which is also the headquarters of Lamborghini). But Phil says the “route is a series of confusing country roads, and their only guide will be a map written entirely in Italian.” The other racer will be driven to the pit stop in “an Italian sports car doing 180 miles an hour” (a Pagani Zonda).

Teams arrive at the auto factory and take the Roadblock as follows:

1) Frank (4) / Margarita (1)
2) Team Guido (Bill (2) / Joe (3))
3) Rob (2) / Brennan (3)
4) Kevin (2) / Drew (2)
5) Nancy (1) / Emily (4)
6) Lenny (2) / Karyn (3)

The clock in Joe’s car reads 2:45 shortly after he has begun the Roadblock. Teams arrive at the pit stop (where they are greeted by the lovely Sara from Cento) as follows:

1) Frank/Margarita at 3:00PM*
2) Team Guido at about 3:10*
3) Rob/Brennan at 4:13
4) Kevin/Drew at 4:36
5) Nancy/Emily at 4:59
6) Lenny/Karyn between 5:30 and 6:00**, but they are not eliminated

* This arrival time for Frank/Margarita assumes that only the minimum 30 minute penalty was assessed for taking a taxi from Bologna to the auto factory. For Team Guido, I think the clock in Joe’s car reads 3:10 as he is pulling into the pit stop. A small gap between those two teams is also consistent with Bill’s statement to Joe that he arrived shortly after Frank. But this also implies that Team Guido got a 50 minute penalty, which I can’t explain. If anything, I’d say Frank deserved a bigger penalty because he also used their “illegal” cab to guide him to the pit stop. Hmmmm.

** Before Lenny/Karyn are shown arriving at the mat, we see a shot of a clock that reads about 5:40. Sunset was at about 6:30PM, and the sun is still up (but not far above the horizon) as Karyn is getting directions from Fabio the Fern. Their time credit moved their departure time on the next leg up to 5:00. Depending on which train they caught, their time credit would have been about 30 minutes or 60 minutes.

Edited by strategery, Jan 13, 2006 @ 11:16 AM.


#12

strategery

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Posted Jan 13, 2006 @ 10:22 AM

SEASON 1 -- LEG 7

Thursday, March 22 2001


Teams depart from the town square of Sant’agata Bolognese as follows:

1) Frank/Margarita at 3:30AM
2) Team Guido at 4:01
3) Rob/Brennan at 4:13
4) Kevin/Drew at 4:36
5) Nancy/Emily at 4:59
6) Lenny/Karyn at 5:00

Money: ??

The first clue is a:

DETOUR
Ride It or Glide It

Ride It--“Take an 8 kilometer bike ride to the Ferrara train station. Bags must travel with you.” Teams start out at a bike store on via J. F. Kennedy in Ferrara, and must make their way along a marked path with the help of a map. Hours of operation are 9AM to 4PM and there are enough bikes for all teams. Per this site, Ferrara is a haven for bicyclists -- large parts of it are closed to cars and biking to the train station is common. It also mentions a bike rental shop on via Kennedy and a 9km tour of the town’s walls. (For a map, go here and enter Ferrara for Citta and Kennedy for Indirizzo.)

Glide It--“Make your way to the Aeroclub Volovelistico Ferrarese . . .” at the Ferrara Airport just south of the city (map). Once there, one racer will have to “take a harrowing glider” ride with Uncle Junior, while the other will fly in the tow-plane. Hours of operation are 9AM to 5PM, and spots are first come, first served. After completing this task (on the DVD, Drew says it took 20-30 minutes), teams will be taken to the train station in a free taxi.

Teams are also given this clue for finding the Fast Forward: “Beside this castle there lies a moat. To find the Fast Forward, hop in a boat. Hours of operation: 7:30AM to 5:30PM. Note: Boat is first come, first served.” From a picture, teams must figure out that it’s the Castello di Ferrara. The Fast Forward pass is hidden in an archway in the moat that surrounds the castle.

All teams take taxis to Ferrara, about 40 miles away. Teams choosing Ride It are Team Guido, Nancy/Emily, and Lenny/Karyn. Teams choosing Glide It are Rob/Brennan (who arrive first at about 5AM) and Kevin/Drew, with Brennan and Drew doing the gliding. Frank/Margarita go for the Fast Forward and get it. The clue directs them to the hilltop at the “Taj Khema Hotel in Agra, India” about 4,000 miles away.

Frank/Margarita probably catch a 7:50 train (either arriving in Rome at 11:00, or changing in Bologna and arriving in Milan at 10:30). The flights I can find that best fit the information we have are a 12:15 on Alitalia out of Milan via Frankfurt (changing to Air India) arriving at 4:30AM, or a 12:55 on Lufthansa from Rome to Frankfurt, connecting to the same Air India flight. (The next train, leaving Ferrara at 8:34, would not have arrived in time to make those flights; later flights all land in Delhi after dawn.)

The remaining teams arrive at the train station and complete the Detour as follows:

1) Team Guido
2) Rob/Brennan
3) Nancy/Emily
4) Lenny/Karyn
5) Kevin/Drew

Their next clue reads: “Say goodbye to Italy and hello to the Red Fort in Delhi.” Those teams must first decide whether to fly there from Rome or Milan.

The first two teams catch the same train to Rome (a clock in the station near Rob/Brennan reads 9:41, and one above Team Guido on the platform reads about 9:45). Currently there’s a 9:50 train direct to Rome arriving at 1:05. Corrected per Brennan’s post below: Both teams then fly to Copenhagen via Venice, but their connecting flight is delayed an hour and they just make their flight to Delhi.

The last 3 teams travel together to Milan. (As they are all talking in the Ferrara station, the clock reads 10:24.) Karyn notes a 12:14 train that gets to Milan at 2:00 (which is still the schedule for a train out of Bologna). Given current schedules, they would have taken a 10:34 to Bologna, arriving at 11:16. But as they are boarding their first train, a platform clock appears to read about 11:20 -- so maybe there was a later train to Bologna back then. They all fly from Milan to Copenhagen (about 700 miles), departing at 7:15 on SAS flt # 688 (it currently departs Milan at 7:45 and arrives in Copenhagen at 9:50).

All five teams take the same flight from Copenhagen to Delhi. Unfortunately no carrier -- not even SAS or Air India -- flies that route directly anymore. A journey of about 3,600 miles, this was probably a 12-hour flight including the 3.5-hour (?) time change. Assuming they all left at around 11PM or midnight, they probably landed at Indira Ghandi Airport around noon.

Friday, March 23 2001

Frank/Margarita arrive in Delhi in darkness and make their way by taxi to the pit stop. The other teams arrive in broad daylight and take taxis to the Red Fort, about 15 miles away (map). There they encounter a:

ROADBLOCK

Hint: “For a person with a good sense of direction.”

Full Clue: “Take a rickshaw and see Mr. Ashkov Sadev on Maliwara. He will show you [ahem] to your next destination.” Racers are given the address of his shop, but it will be hard to find in the -- say it with me -- chaotic marketplace of Chandni Chowk. His shop is across from Bhagwati Synthetics (address: 1197 Maliwara); here’s a map of the area showing Maliwara street.

Teams arrive at the clue box and take the Roadblock as follows:

1) Team Guido (Bill (3) / Joe (3))
2) Rob (3) / Brennan (3)
3) Kevin (3) / Drew (2)
4) Lenny (2) / Karyn (4)
5) Nancy (2) / Emily (4)

When they find Mr. Sadev, he presents their next clue in a blue box that also holds a figurine of the Taj Mahal (which was commissioned by the same ruler who had the Red Fort built). As some people have known from childhood, that’s in Agra, about 125 miles away. But the clue itself says only: “Go to the pit stop on the hilltop at the Taj Khema Hotel. Warning: The last team to get there will be eliminated!” (Apparently it’s a “budget” hotel.)

Racers complete the Roadblock and rejoin their teammates at the Red Fort clue box as follows:

1) Lenny/Karyn
2) Team Guido (about 10 minutes later)
3) Kevin/Drew
4) Rob/Brennan
5) Nancy/Emily

Teams have varying degrees of difficulty figuring out where to go next and finding a cab driver to take them there. (What’s so hard? Once you get out of Delhi *coughyouliedtomecough*, it’s a straight shot south on National Highway #2.) I’m guessing it’s a 3-5 hour drive, and Brennan has said they were lost for 45 minutes. They arrive at the pit stop as follows:

1) Frank/Margarita at 8:01AM
2) Team Guido at 6:48PM
3) Rob/Brennan at 6:54
4) Kevin/Drew at 7:44
5) Nancy/Emily at 8:15
6) Lenny/Karyn at about 8:20, and they are eliminated from the race but win an all-expense-paid trip to Splitsville

Edited by strategery, Jan 18, 2006 @ 11:21 AM.


#13

Brennan

Brennan

    Video Archivist

Posted Jan 17, 2006 @ 2:01 PM

I always enjoy reading these Strategery. Here's a little something that needs fixing... We (along with Guido) actually flew from Rome to Venice. We were then delayed in Venice for an hour (from our scheduled departure time) before leaving for Copenhagen. We were scared of missing our connection and were actually the last two teams to arrive in Copenhagen. We arrived just as the other teams were boarding. That's why Rob and Nancy have the "I'm happy to see you" exchange (which was semi-sarcastic). The other teams thought they were gonna get the jump on us.

#14

strategery

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Posted Jan 18, 2006 @ 11:38 AM

Wahooo! Thanks yet again, Brennan. As anyone can see, this whole effort owes a tremendous debt to your past posts, and they have made for a much richer story of how the race unfolded. And glad to hear you’re enjoying this -- always nice to give a little something back. Be sure to stick around for the conclusion; I think you’ll like that too.

Of course I checked the DVD last night and there you are in a rare solo interview (heh) noting that you ran to the gate in Copenhagen only to find the other teams there. D'oh! I had been assuming you got a direct flight from Rome so I didn’t pick up on that -- and in the "previouslies" at the start of the next leg Phil says you and Team Guido "got out of Italy next" behind Frank and Margarita but before the other 3 teams. Damn you, Koegan! Or maybe Phil was just relaying the "essential truths" of the leg. :)

Recognizing that it's now nearly 5 years later, is there anything else you recall about the timeline for that leg? In particular, I was wondering when your flight from Copenhagen departed or when it arrived in Delhi, and/or when you got to or departed from the Red Fort. I saw a couple of possible hints on wristwatches but they're very hard to read and I wasn’t sure enough about them:
  • In their cab to the Red Fort, the watch that Lenny and Karyn's driver is wearing might read 12:40 (or, less likely, 1:40).
  • When he gives the clue to Joe, Mr. Sadev's watch might read about 2:00.
As for the flights, that was quite the haul you had to Delhi. Since you flew within Italy, I’d guess you were on Alitalia (though I can't find any Venice-Copenhagen flights now). I had assumed that you flew direct to Copenhagen in part b/c I thought there would be other options for Delhi via another city. For example, it looks like there was a flight on Lufthansa via Munich that would have gotten to Delhi at 7:30AM.

But obviosuly you would have chosen the fastest itinerary available. And there’s a quick shot of Team Guido at the Lufthansa counter in Rome being told that Copenhagen is their best bet -- maybe they had checked about the Munich flight and found that it was booked. Also, I had neglected to check before but I now see here that SAS had near-daily flights from Copenhagen to Delhi back then, so I’d guess that's what you took.

Finally, as long as I’m at it, maybe you can help me avoid mistakes regarding the flights from Delhi to Bangkok in leg 9. It's pretty clear that no team got a direct flight -- which would have taken about 6 hours including the time change -- and thankfully we are now starting to get some mid-leg time stamps from the Amazing Editors. But any info you could provide about your or other teams' flights would be much appreciated.

I found some Thai Air flights in the morning via Katmandu arriving after 6PM (Team Guido?), and in the afternoon via Kolkata arriving at 2:25AM (you folks?). Team Guido talks about checking Thai Air and the interior of your plane looks the same -- but then I see the same orange squares on the Copenhagen-Delhi flight so maybe that's a generic Boeing thing or something. I’m not sure why I find it interesting which airline was used, but I do -- just another thing to “figger out” I suppose.

It’s a shame some of this extra stuff didn't make the DVD -- "connecting flight stress" is usually entertaining and often makes the show. Then again, I have a fuller appreciation now for the difficulties the editors have in deciding what to keep in given limited space. And maybe they just had too much good material from Season 1 to do variations on the now-traditional "will they make the flight? / commercial / here are your tickets" routine.

Anyhoo, I hope I'm not innundating you with too many questions. Thanks once more.

#15

Brennan

Brennan

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Posted Jan 19, 2006 @ 9:07 PM

I don't remember times, at all. We did fly Alitalia from Rome to Venice, but I don't remember what we flew to Copenhagen. We did fly SAS from Copenhagen to Delhi.

Finally, as long as I’m at it, maybe you can help me avoid mistakes regarding the flights from Delhi to Bangkok in leg 9.

That's a tough one. I know K&D flew Aeroflot, but I don't know where they connected. I don't remember what Team Guido took. F&M took Air India, but I don't know where they connected either. We (along with N&E) took Jet Airways to Mumbai and All Nippon to Bangkok.

#16

strategery

strategery

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Posted Jan 20, 2006 @ 11:01 AM

SEASON 1 -- LEG 8

Sunday March 25, 2001


After an extended pit stop, teams depart from the Taj Khema Hotel as follows:

1) Frank/Margarita at 8:01PM (Saturday)
2) Team Guido at 6:48AM
3) Rob/Brennan at 6:54
4) Kevin/Drew at 7:44
5) Nancy/Emily at 8:15

Money: $0

First clue: “A route marker is located somewhere on the grounds of the Taj Mahal. Find it. Taj Mahal opening hours: 6AM to 6PM. Absolutely no running inside the Taj Grounds.”

Some teams take a cab (or try to), but the closest entrance is only a 10-minute walk from the pit stop. Here’s a map of Agra showing the Taj Mahal and Taj Khema (as well as the bus station). And here’s a satellite image (big file) of the Taj grounds (42 acres = about 1,350 feet square) and surrounding area; I think the Taj Khema is in the clearing below it. The entrance fee for tourists appears to be 750 rupees ($15-20); Team Guido tries to sneak in, but gets caught and ends up paying 1,000 rupees each.

Teams find the next clue in the same order. Team Guido finds it quickly, while Drew says they looked for half an hour (they are in their next cab by 8:40). That clue reads: “Look for the next route marker in a window on the façade of the Palace of the Winds in Jaipur. Then, to find your next instructions, make your way inside and up to the flag.” Hours of operation: 9AM to 6PM.

Teams can take a faster-but-more-expensive taxi or a slower-but-cheaper bus to Jaipur, which is about 150 miles away (map). Buses depart every hour on the half hour and take about 6 hours; cabs appear to take 5-6 hours. Frank/Margarita make the 7:30AM bus. Team Guido just misses it and takes the 8:30 (bad karma?). The other teams take taxis to Jaipur. When they arrive at the Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal) they encounter a:

DETOUR
Elephant or Row Boat

In either case, teams must retrieve their next clue from a holy man.

Elephant--Teams must proceed to the entrance of the Amber Fort, then ride up a path on the back of an elephant. (Per one site, the elephant ride takes about 20 minutes.) Then they must find the holy man inside the palace. Hours of operation: 9AM to 4:30PM.

Row Boat--Teams must travel to the Jal Mahal/Water Palace, located in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. (Its bottom 4 stories are under water.) They must take a boat across the lake to the palace, get their clue from the holy man, and row back (as it turns out, a rower is provided). Hours of operation: ?

The Water Palace is about 6km northeast of Jaipur’s center; the Amber Fort is about 5 km farther along the same road; this slightly fuzzy map shows where all of the Jaipur locations are, including the bus and train stations. (Jal Mahal is in the top right corner, with an arrow pointing the way toward Amer; per several sites, it’s also called Amer Fort -- that’s not just a typo.)

At the Taj Mahal, teams also got the clue for finding the Fast Forward; per Brennan, it was: “Go to Jantar Mantar in Jaipur and climb 33 steps or 22 steps. Opening Hours: 9am-6pm.” Containing huge stone instruments for measuring movements of the stars and planets, this is one of several such Indian observatories built in the 1700s. The clue box was probably located atop the triangular structure made of red stone shown in this picture; known as the “little sundial” (heh), it appears to have 33 steps on one side and 22 on the other. Even though it’s right behind the Hawa Mahal, no team appears to check out the Fast Forward.

Teams arrive at the Palace of the Winds (with Team Guido walking there from the bus station) and, after carefully weighing the pros and cons, choose a Detour option, as follows:

1) Rob/Brennan -- Elephant
2) Frank/Margarita -- Row Boat
3) Team Guido -- Row Boat
4) Kevin/Drew -- Row Boat
5) Nancy/Emily -- Elephant

Team Guido takes a bus to Jal Mahal, while other teams take taxis to their Detour choices. Teams complete the Detour in nearly the same order (Frank/Margarita are the first ones shown getting the next clue). Team Guido and Kevin/Drew estimate that they are 10-20 minutes apart.

Their next clue reads: “India is a place of religious diversity. Witness this first-hand at the Shri Karni Mata Temple in Deshnok.” To get there, teams must first take a 200-mile train ride to Bikaner, and there are only two trains per day: one leaving at 3PM and one at 9PM.

Team Guido takes a bus to the train station, then switches to a tuk-tuk, while all of the other teams take taxis. Rob/Brennan, Frank/Margarita, and Kevin/Drew make the first train in that order (the latter with about 1 minute to spare). Team Guido just misses the 3:00 train; Nancy/Emily seem to finish the Detour before 3:00 but also end up on the 9:00 train. Per this schedule, the 3:00 train (#2468) arrives in Bikaner at 9:50PM and the 9:00 train (#4737) arrives at 7AM the next day. The fare is about 200 rupees ($5).

On the train, some teams learn that the temple is filled with rats, which are considered holy because they are believed to be reincarnations of Karni Mata’s followers. When they arrive in Bikaner, all teams take taxis to Deshnok, about 30 kms due south (map). (As the teams get off the first train in Bikaner, a platform clock reads 10:04; Brennan has posted that they got to the temple at about 10:30.) There they encounter a:

ROADBLOCK

Hint: “The person who performs this task may want to put on some extra socks.”

Full clue: “Take off your shoes and walk into the temple. Search for further instructions.” Several sites show the Temple’s hours of operation as 4AM-9:30PM or 4AM-10PM, and a 4AM opening fits the arrival times at the mat. (Note that the first train stopped in Deshnok at about 9PM; the second train took a different route.)

Monday March 26, 2001

Once they arrive and the Temple opens, teams take the Roadblock in two groups -- remaining essentially tied within each group -- and find the next clue as follows:

1) Frank (4) / MARGARITA (2); 2) Rob (3) / BRENNAN (4); 3) KEVIN (4) / Drew (2)

4) Team Guido (BILL (4) / Joe (3)); 5) Nancy (2) / EMILY (5)

The clue reads: “You’ve earned a well deserved rest, so get to the pit stop at the Laxmi Niwas Hotel in Bikaner.” The hotel, built as a Maharajah’s residence in 1902, is located within the Lalgarh Palace complex 2-3kms north of Bikaner center (map). There are (ahem) no other words on the clue. All teams take taxis to the pit stop, arriving as follows:

1) Kevin/Drew at 4:50AM
2) Frank/Margarita at 5:08
3) Rob/Brennan at 5:10
4) Team Guido at 8:35
5) Nancy/Emily at 8:37, but (surprise!) it’s an NEL so they are not eliminated

Edited by strategery, Feb 2, 2006 @ 11:48 AM.


#17

strategery

strategery

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Posted Jan 24, 2006 @ 5:59 PM

SEASON 1 -- LEG 9

Wednesday March 28, 2001


After 21,000 total miles traveled, a 60-hour pit stop at the posh Laxmi Niwas Hotel in Bikaner, and a near-brawl over reserved cabs, teams depart from the pit stop as follows:

1) Kevin/Drew at 4:50PM
2) Frank/Margarita at 5:08
3) Rob/Brennan at 5:10
4) Team Guido at 8:35
5) Nancy/Emily at 8:37

Money: ??

First clue: “. . . and more adventures await at the Temple of Dawn in Bangkok. You must get from Bikaner to Delhi by bus or train. You cannot . . .” Teams also learn that “the Fast Forward is in Bangkok where the Buddha reclines.”

To get to Delhi, about 300 miles away, teams must choose between a direct but slower-moving bus and a faster but more circuitous train. They travel as follows:
  • Frank/Margarita and Rob/Brennan on a 5:55PM train arriving at 5:20AM (probably the Bikaner Mail train #4792, possibly changing in Rewari for the Delhi Mail train #9105).
  • Kevin/Drew on a 6:30PM bus arriving at 4:45AM.
  • Team Guido and Nancy/Emily on a 9:05PM express bus arriving at 5:45 AM.
Thursday March 29, 2001

Teams take taxis from the train or bus station to Indira Ghandi Airport and arrive as follows:

1) Kevin/Drew at 5:14AM
2) Rob/Brennan at 6:00
3) Team Guido at 6:21
4) Frank/Margarita at 6:28
5) Nancy/Emily at 6:40

Teams have varying degrees of difficulty arranging flights to Bangkok (about 1,800 miles away as the crow flies), but proceed as follows (thanks, Brennan):

1) Kevin/Drew on Aeroflot departing at 8:30AM and arriving (after a delay) between 5 and 6PM;
2) Team Guido on Thai Airways (?) departing at 9AM and arriving at 8:15PM;
3) Frank/Margarita on Air India departing at 10:35AM and arriving at 11:55PM;
4) Rob/Brennan and Nancy/Emily on Jet Airways to Mumbai departing at 2PM and arriving around 4PM, changing to an All Nippon/ANA flight departing around 8PM and arriving in Bangkok at 1:54AM.

A direct flight takes 4 hours plus a 1:30 time change, so all teams must have changed planes somewhere -- but I couldn’t find any matching flights (e.g., Aeroflot’s only flight from Delhi now goes to Moscow). Kevin/Drew reach the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) at 6:37PM, but its hours of operation are 7AM to 6PM.

Friday March 30, 2001

Team Guido and Nancy/Emily decide to go for the Fast Forward, and wait for the Reclining Buddha temple (Wat Pho) to open at 9AM. (I found different opening times for both temples -- 7:30, 8:00, or 8:30 for Wat Arun, 8:00 for Wat Pho.) When the other three teams enter Wat Arun, they encounter a:

DETOUR
Public or Private

Teams must choose between two ways of getting to Kanchanaburi (KCB), about 80 miles west (better map).

Public--“Travel by public bus . . .” The bus will be slow-moving, but buses leave every 20 minutes (info) and the bus station is easy to find. Per this map, however, the Southern Bus Terminal is not very close to Wat Arun.

Private--“Travel by a free private car . . .” (a Toyota van). But teams will have to find their vehicle parked “within the boundaries of” a nearby neighborhood (for which they are given a crude map). The area they must search is just west of Wat Arun, and is bordered by Wang Doem Road, Arun Amarin Road, and Itsaraphap Road and Street (Thanon = Road, Soi = Street). For a detailed map, go here and search for Prok Wat Arun. However, other landmarks noted on the map (Charansanitwong Rd., Phrannok Rd., Siriraj Hospital) are farther west and north, so the area to search could have been very large.

Rob/Brennan choose Public. Frank/Margarita choose Private and seem to find their car quickly (lic. # 3W7103). Kevin/Drew choose Private, but after searching for two hours they switch to Public and catch a bus at about 9:30. (It’s not clear if they had to find a specific van or could take any available van.)

When Wat Pho opens, Team Guido and Nancy/Emily find they must complete a task: Take a bowl of coins from a table holding 30 bowls and drop one coin into each of 108 urns lined up inside the temple (that number corresponds to a feature of the Reclining Buddha). The first team to find a bowl containing exactly 108 coins -- no more, no less -- will win the Fast Forward. The teams work simultaneously and each team has several tries, as follows:

Team Guido: 1) Too Few; 2) Too Many; 3) Too Many (by 2); 4) 108 - winner
Nancy/Emily: 1) Too Many; 2) Too Many; 3) Too Few (by 1); 4) not completed

Team Guido gets this clue: “Go directly to the next pit stop: The Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi,” about 500 miles south. For various reasons (interview), they decide to take a bus there -- and the next bus (info) leaves at 6PM and does not arrive in Krabi until dawn. Nancy/Emily take a ferry across the Chao Phraya river (map showing ferry route) to Wat Arun to begin the Detour, arriving at 9:15. They choose Private, but after searching fruitlessly for at least 2 hours they (sniff) decide not to complete the Detour and instead take a cab to KCB.

I suspect there was a clue box in KCB that was edited out. No team mentions the monastery, and all teams arrive there in a cab. The monastery’s own web site says it’s a 30-40 minute drive from KCB. (Its hours of operation were 8 or 8:30AM to 5 or 5:30PM.) Teams arrive at the monastery as follows:

1) Frank/Margarita at 9:46AM
2) Rob/Brennan at 10:14
3) Drew/Kevin at 12:01PM
4) Nancy/Emily, probably (edited) between 1:30 and 2

There they encounter a:

ROADBLOCK

Hint: “The one who does this should probably be a cat lover.”

Full clue: Per Phil, the chosen racer must get their next clue from a clay pot -- which has been placed at the far end of a pit full of tigers. The racer will don a red robe to resemble the Buddhist monks who have raised the tigers. Taking the Roadblock are FRANK (5:2), ROB (4:4), DREW (3:4), and EMILY (6:2). (Judging from this site, maybe the task wasn’t as dangerous as it looked.)

Next clue: “Now that you’re comfortable with tigers, go to the Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi. The last team to check in will be eliminated.” All 4 teams take taxis for the 500 mile journey, and arrive at the pit stop as follows:

1) Rob/Brennan at 10:12PM
2) Frank/Margarita at 11:06
3) Kevin/Drew at 3:03AM (Saturday)
4) Nancy/Emily, probably between 5 and 5:30*
5) Team Guido at 6:31

Nancy/Emily receive a 24-hour penalty for failing to complete either Detour option, and they are eliminated.

* Sunrise was at 6:15, and twilight started at 5:46. It is still very dark when Nancy/Emily arrive at the Temple, but the sky is lightening as they talk to the other teams. They were about 2 hours behind Kevin/Drew leaving Bangkok, and (edited) may have had a faster cab to Krabi, but also had to stop to have Emily treated for a scorpion bite (see Team Guido interview link above).

Edited by strategery, Feb 2, 2006 @ 11:34 AM.


#18

strategery

strategery

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 1, 2006 @ 11:41 AM

SEASON 1 -- LEG 10

Saturday March 31, 2001


After a 12-hour rest period, teams depart from the Tiger Cave Temple (Wap Tham Sua) as follows:

1) Rob/Brennan at 10:12AM
2) Frank/Margarita at 11:06
3) Kevin/Drew at 3:03PM (not 3:30 -- my bad; will fix above too)
4) Team Guido at 6:31

Money: ??

Sadly, the first clue does not direct teams to climb the 1,200 steps up the adjacent limestone cliffs to get their next clue (it takes 30-40 minutes to climb, per this nice overview of Krabi attractions). Instead they are told: “Check in with ‘The King’ at Railay Beach. Hours of operation: 8AM-5:30PM. First come, first served.” Teams must figure out that this refers to King Climbers Rock Climbing School.

To get there, they will have to take a taxi and then a boat to Railay Beach East; per this site, the boat ride is 30 minutes from Krabi or 10 minutes from Ao Nang. (Pictures of Railay and Ao Nang during and after the tsunami are posted here.)

Because all of the remaining teams have used their Fast Forward, none was available on this leg -- though presumably one had been planned. Here’s a nice map showing almost all of the locations for this leg: the Tiger Cave Temple (as well as the nearest bus stop used by Team Guido in the previous leg) and Railay, Ao Nang, and Pai Plong beaches. Teams arrive at Railay Beach as follows:

1) Rob/Brennan at 11:40AM
2) Frank/Margarita at 11:53
3) Kevin/Drew at 3:53PM (problem solved)
4) Team Guido at 7:57

When they find King Climbers, teams are outfitted with rock climbing gear, and must hike uphill about ½ mile along a marked path through the jungle to the next route marker. There they encounter a:

DETOUR

Hike or Climb

Hike--“Hike up the long path to the cave in Thaiwand [not Taiwan, closed-captioners] Wall.” Per Phil, this task is not physically demanding, but the hike will be slow going.

Climb--“Rock-climb directly into the cave in Thaiwand Wall.” Per Phil, this task is very strenuous but will be much faster.

All teams choose Climb. Rob/Brennan reach the cave shortly before 12:45, when Frank/Margarita arrive at the Detour clue box. The clue they get inside the cave reads as follows: “Go to ‘Sea, Land, and Trek’ in Bor Tor, Ao Luk. Hours of operation: 8AM to 5PM.” Teams must climb down from the cave, make their way through the jungle, and then rappel to a boat that will take them back to Railay Beach. To get to Ao Luk from there -- about 30 miles away (map) -- teams hire a boat to take them to Ao Nang beach (passing the pit stop along the way, as it turns out), and then may take a car or bus. Kevin/Drew complete the Detour and get their clue at about 4:45PM, but learn the next location is about 2 hours away. They get back to Railay Beach at 5:35PM.

Teams arrive at Ao Nang Beach as follows:

1) Rob/Brennan at 1:47PM
2) Frank/Margarita at 2:11
3) Kevin/Drew at 8:10 (after stopping to pick up some beers and maybe having some dinner at one of the hotels on Railay Beach)

Teams then make their way to Sea, Land, and Trek (Address: 22/1 Moo 2 Aonang Krabi) and arrive as follows:

1) Rob/Brennan at 2:56PM
2) Frank/Margarita at 3:18
3) Kevin/Drew at 9:30 (where they find two discarded clue envelopes)

Their next clue is a:

ROADBLOCK

Hint: “Upper body strength is the key to success.”

Full clue: “Rent a kayak and travel together to Pham Phi Phweta [sic]. The chosen team member must do all of the paddling.” (Perhaps the reference was to Tham Phi Hua To, a cave containing prehistoric paintings that is mentioned here.) Per Phil, they must also carry their luggage in the kayak, and when they find the cave they must search it for their next clue as well as a pair of diving masks and snorkels. FRANK (6:2) and BRENNAN (5:4) perform the Roadblock for their teams.

When they reach the cave (order maintained), they get the following clue: “Return your kayak to Sea, Land, and Trek. Either of you may paddle. Further information is waiting for you offshore at Chicken Island. Dive for it.” As Rob/Brennan are paddling back and Frank/Margarita are paddling to the cave, they pass one another.

Per Phil, after completing the Roadblock teams must get back to Ao Nang Beach, hire a boat, and find the next route marker bobbing in the water 4 miles from the mainland near Chicken Island a.k.a. Koh Kai (map). Once they find the route marker, they must put on their snorkeling gear, dive in, and retrieve their clue from a fish-shaped clue box on the ocean floor. Teams arrive at Chicken Island as follows:

1) Rob/Brennan at 5:31PM
2) Frank/Margarita at 5:47

The next clue reads: “There’s miles to go before you sleep--You’ll rest after you check in at Pai Plong Beach.” No other words or bastardized poems are on the clue -- meaning, of course, that the Philimination Phorest was neither dark nor deep on this leg. Pai Plong Beach appears to be the exclusive domain of Central Krabi Bay Resort (the pit stop hotel?); for the best pics I could find, go here and click on the link to Expedia. Best single pic is here.

The two lead teams check in as follows:

1) Rob/Brennan at 6:03PM
2) Frank/Margarita at 6:15PM

At this point, Team Guido is just about to leave the Tiger Cave Temple pit stop, while Kevin/Drew are slowly making their way to Sea, Land, and Trek. Team Guido gets to Railay Beach and spends the night there, while Kevin/Drew find a hotel in Ao Luk.

Sunday April 1, 2001

At 8AM, Team Guido gets their climbing gear and starts making their way to the Thaiwand Wall, while Kevin/Drew begin the Roadblock -- with KEVIN (5:3) taking it. Team Guido also chooses Climb, and then travels to Sea, Land and Trek, where JOE (4:4) takes the Roadblock. (No more time stamps are provided.) Both teams make their way to Chicken Island and retrieve the underwater clue. They arrive at the pit stop on Pai Plong Beach as follows:

3) Kevin/Drew at 11:35AM
4) Team Guido at 1:30PM, and they are eliminated from the race . . . OK, April Fool’s -- it’s an NEL so they are not eliminated. (C’mon, Phil, where’s your sense of humor?)

Edited by strategery, Feb 1, 2006 @ 10:03 PM.


#19

Calreusop

Calreusop

    Couch Potato

Posted Feb 1, 2006 @ 9:09 PM

I remember on the show they spelled it "Raile" Beach, but your links above say "Railay", so do we know which is the official spelling?

#20

strategery

strategery

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 1, 2006 @ 11:00 PM

Yeah, I noticed that but since the web site I found for King Climbers was www.railay.com I went with that spelling. I just checked Google, and Railay Beach yields about 200,000 hits, but there are only about 300 for Raile or Raillay (which the Frommer's link above used).

With any such transliterations, I'm not even sure if there is an official version. For example, for the Tiger Cave Temple, I found it spelled Wap Tham Sua and Wap Tham Seua -- sometimes on the same web site.

And I'm already having lots of fun with this on the next leg -- is it Hu Jia Lou, or Hujialou? So far it doesn't seem to mess up the Googling. But does anybody out there know Chinese and/or their way around Beijing? For the Rally detour option, I've found the bus route and where they got the motorcycle, but I'm having trouble locating Liu Jia Yao (where they were supposed to switch to the pedicab) and also the Quan Xin Yuan restaurant. Apparently it's in the Chaoyang district, near the China Travel Mansion, but I can't locate that either.

Anyways, thanks for commenting Calreusop -- nice to know somebody's reading these.

Edited by strategery, Feb 1, 2006 @ 11:22 PM.


#21

strategery

strategery

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Posted Feb 7, 2006 @ 10:34 AM

SEASON 1 -- LEG 11

Monday April 2, 2001


After an extended pit stop, teams depart from the pit stop at Pai Plong Beach as follows:

1) Rob/Brennan at 6:03AM
2) Frank/Margarita at 6:15
3) Kevin/Drew at 11:35PM
4) Team Guido at 1:30AM (Tuesday)

Money: ??

First clue: “Go check out Top Pavilion in Jingshan Park, Beijing China. Warning: The last team to check in will be eliminated.” Teams take boats to Ao Nang Beach and then taxis to Phuket airport, about 110 miles away.

Rob/Brennan reach the airport at 8:20AM, just missing an 8:30 Thai Air flight to Bangkok (currently, flight #640 departs at 8:15 and arrives at 9:40). They and Frank/Margarita book a flight on Thai Air leaving at about 11 and arriving at 12:15 (currently, flight #204 departs at 11:20 and arrives at 12:45). Then they take Air China to Beijing (possibly on flight #980), departing at 1:25AM and arriving at 7AM (with a one-hour time change). The total distance from Phuket to Beijing via Bangkok is about 2,500 miles.

Tuesday April 3, 2001

Kevin/Drew and Team Guido make their way to Phuket airport and book themselves on the 8:30AM flight to Bangkok. From there they continue on Thai Air, departing at 11:05AM and arriving at 4:30PM (currently, flight #614 departs at 10:30 and arrives at 4:10).

Meanwhile, the lead teams take taxis from the Beijing airport to Jingshan Park (aerial photo), which is in the center of town, just above the Forbidden City. Here’s a great map of Beijing showing almost all of the locations covered -- but it’s a 5MB file. Here’s a smaller map that provides an overview of the major locations (and shows where a KFC is). Frank/Margarita and Rob/Brennan reach Top Pavilion in that order, and encounter a:

DETOUR

Volley or Rally

Volley--“Play ping pong with a local. Volley and score 5 points for further instructions.” Per Phil, they will have to play against a “local champion” at a nearby community center. I’m not sure where this task takes place; there’s a good shot of the entrance sign at 18:30 of the DVD, but my Mandarin’s a bit rusty. (Brennan?)

Rally--“Travel through Beijing like the locals:
1. Bus # 101 to Hu Jia Lou
2. Motorcycle to Liu Jia Yao
3. Pedicab to Quan Xiu Yuan Restaurant
Hours: 9am to [?].” Both the motorcycle and the pedicab are “spoon-fed” (and seem to know where they have to go).

Frank/Margarita and Rob/Brennan choose Volley and takes taxis to the community center. Frank/Margarita arrive first, at exactly 9:00AM (either that or the HoO begin at 9). Frank “wins” 5-6, and they leave before Rob/Brennan arrive. Rob/Brennan fall behind 0-13 (skunk) and 2-21 (game over) before rallying to “win” 5-24. (Ooops, I see the rules of ping pong have changed; no more skunks, and games go to 11.) Per Brennan, the game took 5-10 minutes.

Their next clue reads: “You’ll need to pick up some items at the market. Shopping lists are available at Hongqiao Market, #46 Tiantan East Road.” Hours of operation: 6:30AM to 6:30PM. (The sign over the entrance says 6AM to 6:30PM, but Kevin and Drew say it opens at 6:30AM.) This market is adjacent to Tiantan Park (see either map above), on a road that will figure later in the race.

When they reach the market, they get this clue: “Proceed to the ground floor. Teams should purchase the following items: [beetle larvae] 5 pieces, [squid] 1 piece, [chicken feet] 2 pieces. Once you have purchased the items, take taxi, bus, or pedicab to cart # 57 at the Donghuamen Night Market. Hours of operation: 10am to 10pm.” The names of the items are shown only in Chinese. When they arrive at the Night Market -- which is just a block east of the Forbidden City, on Donghuamen Street (see big map) -- they encounter a:

ROADBLOCK

Hint: “Who’s hungry?”

Full clue: Go “. . . inside the building behind the Night Market. Have the chef cook your items. The chosen team member must eat it all to . . .” get your next instructions. Taking the Roadblock are MARGARITA (3:6) and BRENNAN (6:4). Per Brennan, Margarita finished eating her food (which took about 20 minutes) before he started. Once finished, the teams get this clue: “Check in at the South Gate at Tiantan, Temple of Heaven Park.” The two lead teams take taxis and arrive as follows (Brennan has said that the cab ride was about 20 minutes):

1) Frank/Margarita at 11:14AM
2) Rob Brennan at 11:25

Kevin Drew and Team Guido are shown leaving the Beijing airport at 4:45, and they arrive in that order at Top Pavillion (probably around 5:30). Volley must still have been open, since they both considered doing it, but both teams choose Rally. The 101 bus runs east-west along the major street below Jingshan Park, which becomes Chaoyang Rd. They take it heading east until they reach Dongsanhuan Zhongli (East Central 3rd Ring Rd.?); see Hujialou on either map linked above. The sun seems to be setting as they are getting on the motorcycles (sunset is at about 6:30PM, with twilight lasting until about 7).

I couldn’t find Liu Jia Yao on any map, but a subway station with that name is being built -- and it’s just two stops past Tiantandongmen (East Gate) heading south (see Line 5 on this map). So I’m guessing the motorcycle took the teams around the 3rd Ring Road (which appears to have on-ramps and overpasses) to a spot south of Tiantan Park, and the pedicabs came back up toward the park (just before the finish, they go through an underpass and under a train line).

Team Guido catches Kevin/Drew as they are switching to the pedicab, and narrowly wins the ensuing race. But when they reach Quan Xin Yuan Restaurant (Wrong one? Apparently it’s a chain.) and get the next clue, both teams learn that the Hongqiao Market has closed.

Wednesday April 4, 2001

Sunrise was at about 6AM. When the market opens, both teams purchase their items and make their way to the Donghuamen Night Market -- where they must cool their heels until it opens at 10AM. Taking the Roadblock are DREW (4:5) and JOE (5:4), with Drew finishing slightly ahead.

Both teams take taxis to the pit stop, and initially they both have trouble explaining to their driver that they must go to the South Gate (Nan Men). But Team Guido figures out the expression in Chinese using their guide book, while Kevin/Drew (after falling behind in traffic) get out of their cab, enter the park at the East Gate, and make their way on foot (about 1 mile) to the pit stop. The teams arrive as follows:

3) Team Guido at 10:51AM
4) Kevin/Drew at 11:12*, and they are eliminated (sniff)

* See the clock on the table at the pit stop, lower right of the screen. The other teams’ time stamps departing on the next leg also correspond to their check-in times on that clock.

Edited by strategery, Feb 7, 2006 @ 10:39 AM.


#22

strategery

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Posted Feb 10, 2006 @ 6:10 PM

Just in time for tomorrow night’s rebroadcast:

SEASON 1 -- LEG 12

Wednesday April 4, 2001


After an extended pit stop, the two lead teams depart from the South Gate of Tiantan Park as follows:

1) Frank/Margarita at 11:14PM
2) Rob/Brennan at 11:25

Money: ??

First clue: “Tiantan Park. Proceed to the X on the above map. Three kites have the same clue. Find one of them. Hours: 6am to 8pm.” The X is located along the central path running north-south through the park (map), probably near the Chenzhen Gate. Both teams return to the Tiantan Hotel to sleep.

Thursday April 5, 2001

Frank/Margarita enter the park at 5:55, Rob/Brennan at 6:00 (through different gates). When they find the right kites (in that order), they get this clue: “Leave the Temple of Heaven and proceed to the Great Wall. You must travel by public bus, not tourist bus, from downtown Beijing to Juyong Pass.” The destination is also given in Chinese. For this 37 mile trip, teams take the 919 bus (info), which runs every half hour and takes about one hour. Frank/Margarita catch an earlier bus, and the teams arrive at the Great Wall as follows:

1) Frank/Margarita at 7:50AM
2) Rob Brennan at 8:05

But Frank/Margarita either get off in the wrong place or go the wrong way, and Rob/Brennan are the first to reach the next clue box, where they encounter a:

DETOUR

Flat or Steep

Teams must reach one of two pavilions along the Great Wall to get their next clue (with rather obvious pros and cons).

Steep--“Climb the steep hill to the close peak on your right, which you can hike without bags.”

Flat--The clue is not given, but must have been something along the lines of “walk the flat hill to the far peak on your left.”

Both teams choose Steep. When they reach the clue box (did Frank complete the Detour?), they are told the following: “You’re expected at North County Bed and Breakfast, Scotty Lake, Alaska (near Talkeetna).” Rob/Brennan get back to the entrance before Frank/Margarita arrive. After completing the Detour, teams take taxis to the Beijing airport and arrive as follows:

1) Rob Brennan at 9:42AM
2) Frank/Margarita at 10:22

Both teams ultimately arrange the same flights to Anchorage. First they fly to San Francisco on Air China, departing at 1:45PM. (In 2004, Air China had the only direct flights, and flt #8888 departed at 1:55PM and arrived at 9:00AM.) Because of the 16-hour time difference, it is -- conveniently -- still April 5th when they arrive in the U.S. Then they fly to Seattle (lots of flights, timing unclear). Margarita had described a flight as leaving SF for Anchorage at 7PM, but that doesn’t fit. Rather, they fly Alaska Airlines to Anchorage -- and on April 5, 2001 flight #115 departed Seattle at 6:37PM and arrived at 9:13PM. ETA: It's 4,001 miles from Beijing to Anchorage directly, but the route they take is twice as far -- 8,006 miles.

The teams enter Ted Stevens International Airport at 9:20PM, and (per Frank) they are told to “build an expensive ‘bridge to nowhere.’” Er, I mean they are told to “pick up a 4x4 on the roof of the parking garage in the domestic terminal. Instruct your driver to take you to the North County Bed and Breakfast in Scotty Lake.” It’s just outside the town of Trapper Creek, and is a drive of about 2 hours/115 miles up the Parks Highway (map).

When they arrive, they get this clue: “Experience a native Alaskan blanket toss. While in the air, look for your next clue. First come, first served. Hours of operation: 8am to 8pm. Spend the night in this cabin.”

Meanwhile, back in Beijing, the last team departs from the pit stop (still on April 5th):

3) Team Guido at 10:51PM

They learn that they must wait until morning to enter Tiantan Park.

Friday April 6, 2001

Team Guido enters Tiantan Park at 6:01AM, gets the clue from the remaining kite, and reaches the Great Wall at 8:18AM. They also choose Steep, get the clue directing them to Alaska, and make their way by taxi back to Beijing, reaching the airport at 10:07AM. They arrange the same Air China flight to San Francisco -- presumably also arriving at 9AM on what is still April 6th. They apparently make the same arrangements to Anchorage via Seattle as well, and arrive at twilight. They are driven to North County B&B, and they reach it in darkness and spend the night there.

Meanwhile, back in Alaska, Frank/Margarita and Rob/Brennan (having been provided with cold-weather gear) do the blanket toss in that order, starting at 8AM -- with Frank and Brennan actually getting tossed. Next clue: “Using your 4x4, get to the Glacier Park Resort parking area at the base of Matanuska Glacier. When you get there, follow flags to the base of the ice wall.” Phil says this is 100 miles away, but it looks more like 150. Both teams stop at the nearby Trapper Creek Inn for directions, where they learn they must head back toward Anchorage (passing through Wasilla and Palmer); the glacier is east of Palmer at Mile 102 on the Glenn Highway.

Rob/Brennan are the first to arrive at the Glacier, where they encounter a:

ROADBLOCK

Hint: “This would be a slippery situation.”

Full clue: Per Phil, the chosen racer will have to climb the ice wall and retrieve information at the top. “A professional climber will help you put on your gear and he’ll brief you on technique and safety.” Taking the Roadblock are ROB (5:6) and FRANK (7:3), who makes up ground but still finishes slightly behind.

The next clue reads: “Using your 4x4, get to the parking lot of Mile 131 on the Parks Highway -- then hop on a snowmobile sled and ride to the pit stop.” The teams thus had to backtrack all the way past Scotty Lake/Trapper Creek, and go 15 miles further to reach that parking lot. After their snowmobile ride, they end up not far from Takosha Mountain Lodge; it is inside the southern entrance of Denali National Forest, which contains Mt. McKinley. The two teams arrive at the pit stop as follows:

1) Rob Brennan at 4:17PM
2) Frank/Margarita at 5:03

They will spend the night in a “musher’s lodge.”

Saturday April 7, 2001

Back at Scotty Lake, Team Guido does the blanket toss at 8AM -- and it is Bill who gets tossed. (ETA: On the DVD, Joe says he tried first but couldn't see the clue.) They drive to Matanuska Glacier, where BILL (5:5) also takes the Roadblock. Then they drive back to Mile 131 of the Parks Highway, get in the snowmobile sled, and arrive at the pit stop as follows:

3) Team Guido at 5:05PM*

* This is per the mat clock on the lower right side of the screen; no departure time is shown for them on the next leg. In another unprecedented development -- but for reasons that soon became obvious -- Phil could not be there to greet them and tell them that this was a non-elimination leg.

Edited by strategery, Feb 13, 2006 @ 6:19 PM.


#23

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Posted Feb 15, 2006 @ 10:23 AM

SEASON 1 -- LEG 13

Saturday April 7, 2001


After a 12-hour wait, the two leading teams depart from the Musher’s Lodge pit stop as follows:

1) Rob/Brennan at 4:17am
2) Frank/Margarita at 5:03

Money: ??

First clue: “Put on your snow shoes and follow the flags to the route marker in front of Takosha Lodge. Opening hours: 8am-7:30pm.” Rob/Brennan’s flashlight batteries are dead, so they wait for Frank/Margarita to leave and follow them -- just as they have done so many . . . er, I mean never. The teams must walk about ½ mile; Brennan says it took about half an hour.

The teams then wait inside Takosha Lodge until 8am. When they open the next clue, they encounter a:

DETOUR

Dog Power or Horse Power?

Teams must choose one of two methods of getting to the next Route Marker. They will be given instructions on how to use either method. In Dog Power, each team member must guide a slower-moving dog sled 11 miles through the snow. In Horse Power, each team member must drive a faster-moving snowmobile 30 miles to the same location. Per Brennan, there was a speed limit.

Both teams choose Dog Power. Frank/Margarita leave first, but eventually Rob/Brennan pass them and finish several minutes ahead. After they complete the Detour, the teams are told to take a provided 4x4 vehicle to the next Route Marker at the edge of Fish Lake, which is in Talkeetna (scroll down for a better map). Here’s a summertime picture that shows the amphibious plane to which Brennan refers in his DVD commentary.

Although Talkeetna is not far away -- it’s only about 4 miles from Trapper Creek as the crow flies -- getting across the Susitna River involves about a 30 mile/1 hour loop (directions). On the DVD, Brennan says it took about 90 minutes to get there from the Detour. Rob/Brennan are the first to arrive at Fish Lake, where they encounter a:

ROADBLOCK

Hint: Who’s ready for some shrinkage? Er, I mean “This would be a slippery situation.”

Full clue: “Strip to you underwear and take a quick dip in some Alaskan water.” Per Phil, this is an annual tradition among native Alaskans; he adds that the water is only 40 degrees and that the chosen racer must fully submerge their head before retrieving the next clue (which is located at the far end of the ice hole). Taking the Roadblock are BRENNAN (7:5) and FRANK (8:3). (Hey, why didn’t Rob have to take it to even up the count?)

The next clue reads: “You have retrieved some freezing route info. Dry off. Put your clothes back on. Take a plane to New York City. Hail a cab and head for the Route Marker at Vincent Daniels Square, 51st and Roosevelt in Queens.”

Both teams drive their 4x4s to Anchorage airport, about 2 hours away. They both take the same Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle, the timing of which is a little unclear. They probably arrived in Anchorage around 12:30. There are two clocks behind the ticket counter, but I couldn’t read them clearly. (12:35? 1:40?) In the DVD commentary, Brennan says their layover in Seattle was several hours (can anybody make this out?). Most likely, they took a 1:30 flight (#80), arriving at about 5:50.

Both teams then catch the same Continental flight to Newark Airport, scheduled to depart at 9:55pm and to arrive at 6:00am. On that date, Continental #126 was scheduled to depart Seattle for Newark at 9:55pm, and actually departed at 9:48; it was scheduled to arrive at 6:00am and actually arrived at 5:56.

Sunday April 8, 2001

Back at the Musher’s Lodge pit stop, the last team departs as follows:

3) Team Guido at about 5:05am

They make their way on snowshoes to Takosha Lodge and wait for the next task to open at 8am.

Meanwhile, Rob/Brennan and Frank/Margarita arrive at Newark (Terminal C) and get cabs. But Frank/Margarita are unhappy with their first cabby, and switch -- so Rob/Brennan depart first. Rob/Brennan travel via the Holland Tunnel, while Queens natives Frank/Margarita direct their cab to take the George Washington and Triborough Bridges. Per Mapquest, the fastest route is via the Holland Tunnel -- it’s about 20 miles/30 minutes with no traffic. Going via the GW Bridge, the trip is about 30 miles.

Rob/Brennan arrive first at Vincent Daniels Square, where they get this clue: “There is an elevated train station adjacent to this park. Use it. Take the 7 Train to the Willets Point/Shea Stadium stop. Follow the signs to Flushing Meadows Park, then the yellow flags to the finish line.” They run to the train (passing J & Sons Plumbing & Heating Supply Inc. at 5102 Roosevelt Avenue, Woodside, NY 11377, which is handy for MapQuest purposes). Per Brennan, once they reach the platform, the train comes along in about one minute.

Frank/Margarita arrive at the Square and get the final clue. Per Brennan’s DVD commentary, they are only a couple of minutes behind. As they are running toward the train station, Margarita says she hears a train coming -- but if that one's going in the right direction, they miss it and must wait for the next one. Per the current schedule, the 7 Train comes about every 10 minutes at that time on a Sunday, and takes about 10 minutes to cover the 9 stops from 52nd St. to Willets Pt./Shea Stadium (which, coincidentally, is home to The Amazing Mets).

As Rob/Brennan get off the 7 Train, a digital clock reads April 8, 2001 8:11am (but the time is very fuzzy and 7:11 would make more sense). Accompanied by stirring music, they make their way through the park and find the finish line in front of the Unisphere that was built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair. Per Brennan, the total distance from the train station is about 1.5 miles (map; satellite image). After 9 countries, 4 continents, 35,000 miles, and two Hating-Hats, Rob/Brennan are declared the official winners of The Amazing Race. (By my count, given their actual routes, it was at least 40,000 miles.)

Assuming they caught the next train, Frank/Margarita probably arrive 10 minutes later. But there is commentary on the DVD that the trains were 20-25 minutes apart, so perhaps that was the gap at the finish line as well -- or maybe Frank/Margarita ended up 2 trains behind.

Meanwhile, back in the frozen wastelands of Alaska, Team Guido opens the envelope at Takosha Lodge at 8am (at which time it is noon in New York City). Instead of the Detour instructions, they find this note: “Rob and Brennan have crossed the finish line.” They decide to complete the Detour nevertheless, and take Dog Power to get to their 4x4 and begin the journey home.

Edited by strategery, Sep 6, 2006 @ 4:46 PM.


#24

SVNBob

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Posted Feb 16, 2006 @ 5:13 AM

I think I know why your Roadblock count seems off, strategery. Looking back, the boys alternated RBs in all legs, except for legs 3 and 4. That's how Brennan got ahead.

Edited by SVNBob, Feb 16, 2006 @ 5:22 AM.


#25

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Posted Feb 17, 2006 @ 11:18 AM

It's true that Brennan did the Paris sewer and El Jem back-to-back, but Rob took the next one (the camel) and they were even at 4 apiece through Leg 9. But then Brennan did back-to-back Roadblocks again in legs 10 and 11, and they never evened up after that. Maybe I could make this clearer above -- toward the end of the race, the order of arrival at and completion of the Roadblocks was such that I didn't bother with the 1) 2) 3) 4) lists. At the least, I'll go back and make the formats more consistent.

Mostly, though, I was just giving Rob some grief about the fact that the "your turn/my turn" rule seemed somehow to work to his advantage -- what with Brennan having to eat the chicken feet and take the shrinkage plunge. Maybe Brennan should have demanded 7/12ths of the money. :)

#26

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Posted Feb 21, 2006 @ 2:44 PM

OK, that was fun and interesting -- at least for me :) -- but I for one could use a break to watch TAR9. Here's hoping it lives up to the high standard set by Season 1.

Thanks yet again to Brennan for all the info he has provided through various means, and for the mods for letting this occur. I may try to bug Team Guido, Kevin, and Drew to see if they can fill in any other gaps. In the meantime, here are a couple of other tidbits from Esquire's post-race interview with Miss Alli:
  • At the Red Fort, Nancy/Emily left for Agra about 30 minutes behind the next-to-last team (Rob/Brennan).
  • After the tiger pit walk in Thailand, Rob/Brennan returned to the bus station in Kanchanaburi. That doesn't prove anything, but to me it supports the idea that the Public/Private detour ended there, and that there was an unshown clue at that station directing teams to the tiger pit. (The main hints, I think, are that Frank/Margarita arrive in a cab and not in their private Toyota van -- and that nobody's shown describing that destination.)
Looking ahead, does anybody know how to get in touch with a TAR2 racer? I haven't look carefully yet but generally had the sense that the Amazing Editors got better about listing team positions and adding some time stamps staring with Season 2 -- so maybe that will be a little easier. But I'd still love to know what the unshown fast forwards were, for example. Did any of those racers ever post here? Perhaps their e-mail links still work. For any confidential info, my e-mail line is now open.

Anyways, Happy TARsday to all and hope to see you back here in a few months.

Edited b/c Krabi and Kanchanaburi are not the same place.

Edited by strategery, Feb 21, 2006 @ 5:37 PM.


#27

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Posted Mar 7, 2006 @ 11:38 AM

Team Guido has graciously (of course) provided some additional details, for which I am very grateful:

* The teams typically got anywhere from $75 to $175 for each leg, but on one leg they got over $400.

* When they got to Avignon, Team Guido found that a train was leaving on the other side of the station that went most of the way to Les Baux. (I'm guessing this was to nearby Tarascon -- from which it's about a 10 mile / 20 minute cab ride to Les Baux.) Thus the difference in their arrival time from the Avignon taxi-takers.

* They got the same penalty as Frank and Margarita for switching to a taxi at Bologna. There was some spacing out of the teams at the Smart Car roadblock because only one sports car was used, so they had to take turns.

* Regarding the flight from Copenhagen to Delhi: "We left Copenhagen very late at night, 10:30 or 11:00 PM. We had to do carnet in Copenhagen, and almost missed that flight. We had called from the cockpit to the airport to have an escort take us directly to customs in a golf cart, and then from customs to the gate in the same cart. It was a squeaker, we were the last people on the flight and then they closed the doors! There was an audible sigh as Team Guido came down the aisle, as all teams in the Race at that point were on the flight, except Frank and Marge."

* To get from Delhi to Bangkok, they first flew Air India to Hong Kong. There's no 9:30am flight now, but it's a 4:15 flight plus a 3 hour [?] time change, so they would have arrived at about 4:45pm. Then they flew "on an Asian carrier to Bangkok, (one of the best flights of the race, the plane was nearly empty! We had several meals each!) that name escapes me a this moment, it was not Thai airways." In recent years, Cathay Pacific Air flight 703 departed Hong Kong at 6:25pm and arrived in Bangkok at 8:15pm (a 2:50 flight with a 1-hour time change the other way).

* In Beijing they "missed the closing of the [Hongqiao] market by about an hour. It had been dark for about that long, and I believe it was about 7:30 PM when we got to the clue box after the road rally."

* With about 3 hours to kill before the Donghuamen Night Market / Chicken Feet Roadblock opened in Bejing, they were able to visit the Forbidden City.

And with that, a toast -- not "to evil" but to tomorrow's the 5th anniversary of TAR1's start. Thanks yet again, Team Guido.

Edited by strategery, Mar 7, 2006 @ 11:40 AM.


#28

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Posted Apr 24, 2006 @ 10:16 AM

Here's a bit more info from Team Guido, which I have been slow in posting. Once again, major thanks to them -- how could I ever have disliked 'em?
  • The TGV train from Paris to Avignon/Marseilles did not always go at high speed, depending on the traffic. In particular, that could explain the slower journey for the underdogs, who of course went all the way to Marseilles during the evening rush hour. ("The tickets say to keep going" to Marseilles, and who were they to disagree?)
  • Team Guido was told that Nancy/Emily had arrived about 1.5 to 2 hours ahead of them at the Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi.
  • The cluebox at the end of the Rally Detour in Beijing was near the Hongqiao market, and was not far from Tiantan Park. (For some strange reason, that one had really been bugging me -- so maybe that'll save me a trip to China.)
Anyways, I guess that about closes the books on Season 1. But as a taste of things to come for Season 2, check out this recent post from TAR2's Cyndi -- including info about the first-ever head shaving Fast Forward on TAR. Wahoo!

ETA: And as a gesture of appreciation, a plug: www.BuddyTV.com features Team Guido's commentary on TAR9.

Edited by strategery, Apr 24, 2006 @ 2:34 PM.


#29

TAR Neobie

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Posted May 3, 2006 @ 12:00 AM

Can I help work on the Hong Kong episodes? Please? :)

#30

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Posted May 3, 2006 @ 10:30 AM

Help? Heck, feel free to do the whole timeline for those eps. I owe you one anyway. :) Seriously, I have no monopoly here and am happy for any help.

I was hoping to keep things in chronological/episode order -- and had been thinking I'd need more than a week per ep this time around -- but maybe a better approach is to post more bare-bones versions once a week and then loop back and add details and web links later. That would get us to Hong Kong sometime in July.

Also, as long as we have some Aussie sleuths around, it's never too early to start putting some of the pieces of the TAR2 puzzle together:
  • Can anybody (or the collective) figure out where the various points in the Sydney "scavenger hunt" roadblock are? The one with the surfer, "ankle biter", girl in bikini, and farmer/yokel? I sort of remember some fountains and parks.
  • How about the meat pie place where the FF was?
  • I did recently find some info about Coober Pedy, including one map that shows the Big Winch (G6, center of town) and directions to the golf course (northwest of town). Another map shows the various mines. I didn't see Opal Quest by name, but other sites indicated that Opal Quest is about 2km southwest of town and is in the Lennon Field -- and that map shows a "Lennon Mine" in that vicinity. (More discussion here.) But any confirmation, info, or even good web links would be appreciated.
  • I haven't even touched on the New Zealand legs -- also fair game.
And for easy reference, here's Rinaldo's overview timeline for TAR2.

Edited by strategery, May 3, 2006 @ 10:35 AM.