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HOT. STEAMY. INDONESIA. The racers continue their journey in Indonesia and their first clue on leaving the Pit Stop sends them into the past where they join reenactors of a Dutch Bicycle Patrol in use when parts of Indonesia was under Dutch Colonial rule in the 1940s.
Andy/Tommy 7:38 A.M.
Kaylani/Lisa 8:02 (This is the first time we hear about Kaylani’s young daughter.)
Ernie/Cindy 8:14 (Cindy reveals that her control freak side came out when they learned they would be on the race and she started preparing three months in advance with a packing list…then on to geography, language courses and exercising. Ernie lets us know that his life has been on her schedule for the past six months.)
Bill/Cathi 8:22 (They met the other teams properly for the first time over this rest stop and note that they are probably 40 years older than the others – well except for Laurence.)
Justin/Jennifer 8:31 (Who promise to be positive this leg.)
They will amble through the crowded streets with other riders in two by two formations until they arrive at Fort Vredebug where they will receive their next clue. Andy/Tommy are the first to choose their patrol captain (by smile) and dress up in the khaki uniform with Bermuda shorts, leather cross-straps over the shirt and a pith helmet to keep off the sun. They enjoy ringing the bell and popping wheelies along the way.
Ernie/Cindy’s ride isn’t as much fun because Ernie loses the left pedal off the bike and all the other teams (except for Amani/Marcus) pass them while many hands try to re-attach it. Finally, good old bungee cord seems to do the job and they continue the ride to the Fort.
Andy/Tommy arrive at the Fort first and receive a clue that sends them by taxi to Leeshan restaurant in the farming village of Balakmalang. There they run into a
DETOUR: Rice Field or Grass Fed.
In Rice Field they will carry a lunch prepared at the Leeshan restaurant to a rice bog and present it to workers, who will take a break to eat while the racers will take their place in the muddy bog to plant 300 rice seedlings.
In Grass Fed they will stuff full to overflowing two large bags with cut long grass, take charge of two sheep from a pen and convey both to a sheep shed. Once the farm manager approves that part, they must then fill six buckets of water (two at a time) from a well and dump it into a water trough.
Andy/Tommy arrive first and choose Grass Fed. To get to the grass stuffing station they must traverse built up berms, which mark out the rice bogs. If you slip off, you could get wet and muddy…Hee Hee. The agile ones make it across the berm with no problem complimenting the local rice planters as they run and earning themselves some smiles. They then run with their stuffed bags back across the berm and collecting two sheep, pull them along by rope tethers, down a trail, to the shed. Andy’s sheep seems to have other ideas on where he wants to go and pulls Andy around back toward the pen and past a house where the locals think he is hysterical. Oops, they didn’t put enough grass in their bags and must return the sheep to the pen, run across the berm, stuff in more grass, run across the berm, collect their sheep and make the run to the farm once again.
Laurence/Zac also choose Grass Fed and start their perilous journey across the berms, but at the well part of the challenge, they prove to have reading comprehension deficiencies, as in their rush, they fill up three buckets from the well at a time; even though Tommy tells them to read their clue which states two buckets. Will this miss-read cost them at the mat?
At the sheep shed, gentlemen play soothing music on the gong drums and xylophone, but it doesn’t soothe our frantic racers.
Andy/Tommy are not the only ones with short bags; Amani/Marcus trying to fight their way out of last place because of a lost taxi driver, must also re-stuff their bags and they opt for planting rice seedlings, instead.
Meanwhile back on the road, Bill and Cathi are elated because they think they are number one, uh, well no. When Ernie/Cindy over take them, they yell out the open window, “Be number one!” What did they have in their coffee this morning? It is a taxi race which the drivers seem to enjoy as well, giggling as they go. They all seem to reach the farming area in a clump, except for Amani/Marcus and their lost taxi driver.
Everyone except for Kaylani/Lisa and Liz/Marie chooses Grass Fed. These two teams pick up the workers’ meals on plates wrapped in cloth and carry them to the rice field. They trade the meals for the workers’ straw woven traditional conical field hats and step down into the oozing mud to properly place the 300 seedlings.
The less agile do slip off the berm now and then on the run back and forth from the bag stuffing, with Cathi taking a header on her way to the grass station. The Grass Fed crew provides entertainment for the locals with their sheep leading skills – from baawing to the sheep to giving up on leading them, picking them up and carrying them.
Back at the rice paddy, all four girls finish ahead of the sheep trekkers except for Andy/Tommy and Laurence/Zac and receive the clue to the temple. As they pull away, Amani/Marcus pull up. Amani/Marcus who opt out of Grass Fed begin planting their rice seedlings as everyone else heads for the temple.
Andy/Tommy are the first to finish the Detour and must take a taxi (taksi) to Borobudur Temple where they must go through the International Entrance, don a sarong that ties around the waist, walk across a large park and climb a set of stairs to the top layer of the pyramid like structure, built in the eighth century and later restored, to receive their next clue which is a
Walk in a clockwise direction around the temple (levels) and identify the various Buddha statues with four distinct hand positions. Additionally, they must figure out that they have to demonstrate each hand position. When they have the correct count, they will receive their next clue.
Andy/Tommy play rock/paper/scissors to determine who will take on the challenge and Andy loses. He is joined by Laurence, who likes the boys’ sense of adventure, and they decide to work together. This is the first time this race, where teams will join together to solve the challenge. The only outsider is Bill.
Laurence and Andy think they have the count and Laurence goes first with 17, 17, 17 and 18. The official asks, “17 of what?” They go back to count because, although they have the correct numbers they didn’t match them with the hand positions. Their next try, they get it right and both teams receive the clue for the Pit Stop, which is somewhere in the park they crossed to get to the temple. First, however, they must pay off their taxis as they won’t need them anymore.
The next to arrive are Kaylani/Lisa and Liz/Marie. They ask their taxies to wait as does everyone else except for Amani/Marcus because they didn’t want to drive around with their challenged driver. Ernie/Cindy run into car problems and decide to run to the temple. While Ernie/Cindy make their way down the road, Bill/Cathi and Justin/Jennifer arrive at the temple.
Ernie and Justin wonder if they should be counting the friezes of Buddha lining the walls as well as the statues; which leads them into time wasting trouble. Ernie shows up for his envelope giving an answer of 717. Others follow his lead giving the figure as a total of the count. Once again, I pity those teachers who have tried to teach reading comprehension in the lower grades.
Amani/Marcus, tired, disgusted and dirty, finish the rice planting and head for the temple. Once there, they run into Andy/Tommy who are on the way back out to the parking lot to pay off their taxi. Andy/Tommy give them the full answer including hand gestures, as they like that they can decide who they want to stay in the race. Say What?! However, once Amani/Marcus climb to the top and receive the clue, exhaustion has wiped all that information from their minds. Marcus teams with the others, though, and the hand gesture part comes back to him and he shares with all except Bill. However, after Cathi yells at him to be quiet when giving the wrong answer the first time, the second time when Bill gives the correct answer, he does so from a Buddha sitting position and that position is emulated by others when they line up to give their correct answers.
Though Bill/Cathi leave in third place from the temple, Cathi’s form of power walking cannot keep ahead of some of the younger contestants also heading to pay off taxis; two of whom let their taxis go and can proceed directly to the pit stop.
Two elephants with riders join Phil and the greeter at the mat.
First to reach the mat is Laurence/Zac, but they get zapped with a 15 minute penalty for not reading the instructions about the water buckets. As they sit in the shade of a tree they watch Andy/Tommy run up.
1. Andy/Tommy (who feel bad for Laurence/Zac saying they should be there, tell them “sorry…but…we owe you one.” Laurence tells them, “Hey, no worries.”
5. Ernie/Cindy (no taxi)
6. Amani/Marcus (no taxi)
8. Liz/Marie (have a hard time finding their taxi, but are quicker than)
9. Kaylani/Lisa ELIMINATED (Kaylani cries, not because they lost, but because she misses her daughter and Phil tries to cheer her up.)
Goodbye to Singapore and Hello to Thailand, which is also hot and steamy. Good times.
Gearing up for the bicycle challenge: We’re fearless, but we’re going to die soon anyway, so…
On her second header off the berm in the farm challenge: Okay, that was a good one.
After four instances of falling off the berm face first (that we saw, anyway) she says, “I’m done.”
When she is finally through slipping off the berm, Cathi takes to chasing her runaway sheep down the road.
To Bill at the top of the temple: I would do this, but you are better at directions.
On arriving on the mat in seventh place: Oh, we must be lucky.