Here I sit again. Trying to come up with an opening paragraph. One everyone who watched and those who didn’t can relate too. Flo whining? Enough already. Ian berating? It really hasn’t been bad enough to warrant opening paragraph inclusion. Go ahead and insert a few comic or thought provoking sentences here, then continue to read.
The teams start this leg of the race in Vietnam. They need to ride a train to the city of Hue (pronounced weigh) and get to the Imperial Palace for the next clue in their journey.
They then need to go to Nam O Da Nang and find the town bridge for the Detour.
DETOUR Basket Boat or Basket Bike. Teams must choose one of these modes of transportation to travel to the next clue.
Go to Hoi An and choose a San Pan to take you out to the Road Block Clue.
ROADBLOCK One member must pull up a huge fishing net with a wooden winch until the clue hanging on the bottom of the net is reachable.
This clue tells them to get to the PIT STOP at China Beach
Teri and Ian 5:19am
Teri reads the clue aloud and Ian correctly pronounces Hue. I really don’t need to mention that, but I found it interesting, and since I am writing this, I will add what I want. The two get themselves to the train station only to find out that the ticket window doesn’t open until 7am. Equalized once again.
Flo and Zach have arrived and I smile as Ian gets an incredibly impish grin on his face while listening as Flo complains.
They are ready when the ticket window opens (as any good racer would be) and they manage to get themselves first class sleeper tickets for the 24 hour train ride. They enjoy the views from the train, and I smile as I hear Teri explain that whenever she has thought of Vietnam, she has thought only of war, now she will think of Vietnam with a smile and happy memories. This race has really been good for this dueling duo.
They arrive at the Imperial Palace and are a tad overwhelmed by the size of the area they need to search in order to find the next clue. They receive a couple of sets of bad directions within the Palace grounds, but eventually do find the box.
They seem to agree that they should choose the bike detour. One look at the basket laden bikes and they both a very quick Flo impersonation. With their quick whine over Ian gets on the bike and starts to leave. Teri can’t even get on hers and is yelling at him to wait. He is either ignoring her, or he can’t hear her, as he is busy trying to stay on the bike and bribing locals to help him on his way. The locals finally start to help Teri too, ant the pair meet up at the end of the one-mile trek. They are handing out money to the 748 locals who helped along the way. You’d think with that many helping they could have carried them both to the finish line.
They read their next clue and head off for the san pans. We get a great shot of the two of them in the cab as a worn out Teri announces: “Well, that was fun”!
Out on the san pan it is Ian who does the roadblock. He seems to have been doing a lot lately, and I am glad they seem to have come up with a better system then automatically trading off every other one. He brings the net up and they receive their clue. They are ecstatic to read the words “Head to China Beach the next Pit Stop”. It renews their vigor and they hoorah their way to shore. The quick cab ride delivers them to the beach and they run towards Phil.
Zach, a couple of back packs and his partner 5:58am
Zach has done his best to try to get the general public to like Flo. Well, maybe not like her, but at least understand her. Hmmm, maybe not understand her per se, but at least explain…. Screw it, I don’t know what Zach is trying to do as he describes Flo as “Fragile”.
They are off to the train station and Flo is already complaining. She tells Zach that she wishes they had been eliminated in the previous leg. He tries to keep her spirits up, but I predict a long day ahead.
Upon arriving at the train station they are told by Teri and Ian that they can’t purchase tickets for the 24-hour ride until 7am. He then adds that he wonders what that ride would be like on a Vietnamese train.
Flo hears 24 hours and Vietnamese train and starts her first break down. She quits the race right there and then. She can’t get on the train, she won’t get on that train. We are less than an hour into the race.
Flo is trying to sleep. I guess sleeping for part of the mandatory 12-hour pit stop is illegal. Music, which she describes as Disco, but I would describe as the Vietnamese equivalent of a country ballad, starts blasting through the terminal speakers.
They head off for another terminal, where Flo can get some sleep. Ten minutes after the ticket window opens Zach wanders in to buy them some tickets. He cannot get a sleeper room, as they are sold out. He settles for seats in first class where there is at least air conditioning.
Flo has to actually move so they can get on the train.
We get great shots of Flo trying to sleep in a seat.
They get off the train and Flo feels sick. She thinks she might throw up. Zach offers her water.
She has to pee to bad to drink water. I guess it’s also illegal to use the bathroom on the train they JUST got off of.
They run into Teri and Ian while at the palace, and Flo tells us how much she hates Ian. She hates to hear him talk. Kettle/Black.
Zach gets them to the detour and they decide they should try the boats. Once out on the water Flo whines that there must be a better way. Her solution? “Let me hold on to your boat Zach” UHG.
She actually starts to get the boat moving, but then they realize they are headed to the wrong shore.
Flo quits. FOR REAL THIS TIME! She is FINISHED with this. She wants to go HOME.
They head back to the original shore and Zach talks her into checking out the bikes so that even if they wind up way behind, they can at least cross the finish line.
They arrive to see the bikes.
She can’t get on it. She can’t hold it up. She can’t turn it. She doesn’t weigh (or hue) enough.
Again, master calmer-downer Zach talks her into trying the boats again. This time they hire people to row them across to get the clue.
Once they get to the San Pan, Flo tells us she’s feeling better. She’s back to her old self. She’s relaxed.
They read the Roadblock clue and Flo decides to do it.
HA! Just kidding, the thought never entered her mind. Zach makes pretty quick work of the net and they receive the directions to the Pit Stop.
In the cab heading to the Pit Stop Flo says that the only thing keeping her sane is Zach.
HA! Just kidding. It’s her Diet Coke. Yep, her soda is keeping her sane. I’m never drinking Coke again.
The cab gets them to China Beach and they run, well, jog…. Hmmmm, walk? Nah, they meander to the mat and arrive…….
Ken and Gerard 6:13am
These two funny guys head off with smiles on their faces. They grab a cab to the train station and spend the ride ducking in the back as the cabbie narrowly misses the many bikers on the road.
They are shocked to hear from Teri that Flo has given up. They look around and can’t see them anywhere. The Million just got closer. Shortly after purchasing their Sleeper cabin tickets they see Zach, and realize the Miracle Worker has kept Flo in the game. Gerard asks him if everything is alright. Zach needs him to define “alright”. Gerard nods knowingly.
They, like Teri and Ian, are enjoying the scenery. They had an Uncle who died from Agent Orange, and Vietnam has been interesting to them too.
They get a quick cab to the Palace and find someone one to tell them where they need to go. They see Teri and Ian after receiving their directions, but play the dumb guys once again, and send Teri and Ian off for their own directions.
After reading the clue they jump into yet another cab and Gerard fumbles through the pronunciation of Nam O Da Nang. Kan laughs and compliments his Vietnamese. Gerard informs us he took the Berlitz course.
These two could complain just like Teri and Ian, and Flo and Zach upon viewing the bikes. Instead they laugh.
Ken is the Bike God as he gets on and starts pedaling away. Gerard can’t get more than a few feet before falling one way (or Hue) or the other. His pedal breaks on one of his falls, but the locals help him get going. Ken says: “I try to come to Vietnam on my days off to practice this”
Ken finishes the mile and waits.
Gerard is bribing the locals.
Gerard finally gets to the finish line and basically gets mugged by the 25 kids and young adults that helped him get there. He actually looks scared as he and Ken try to get away, to head off for the San Pans.
They are off in the cab, and shortly into the ride Teri and Ian pass them.
Then they get a flat. Ken tells us that in the States this would be a four-hour ordeal as Gerard called AAA. Here, they rise to the challenge and Ken drinks his water while the cabbie and Gerard change the tire. Gerard will be calling the local track to get a job on the Pit Crew upon his arrival home.
Ken does the roadblock… only fitting since Gerard and the cabbie did the last roadblock.
Their cabbie takes them the 15 mile trip to China Beach and Ken and Gerard arrive…..
PIT STOP at CHINA BEACH
1. Teri and Ian, who win yet another cruise. This time it’s in Alaska.
2. Ken and Gerard
3. Flo and Zach
Of course, seeing as this is the first half of the two-hour finale, it is a Non Elimination Round and Flo and Zach will be back to try to win it all.
Part Two of the recap will be up later today or tomorrow.
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