Yamoussoukro, Cote D'Ivoire
Trip Start Mar 02, 2007
6Trip End Ongoing
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An afternoon in Venice shuffled teams up, with some of the strongest teams ending up at the bottom of the pack. A detour exploring the traditional industries of Venice challenged some teams - Dean & Penne had a breakdown whilst lacemaking, and Boon-Mee discovered a new talent in glass-blowing. Lynda & Chhitij surged ahead when they took the first Fast Forward of the race, while Glora & Kay took a gamble and Yielded Agi & Claudia at the Roadblock. A fierce footrace to the Pitstop was waged between Glora & Kay and Dean & Penne, but in the end it was Agi & Claudia who arrive last, unable to recover from being Yielded, and they were eliminated. Now, seven teams remain. Who will be eliminated next on The Almost Amazing Race.
This is Venice, Italy. I'm standing in Piazza San Marco, the largest open space in the city, and undoubtedly the most beautiful. Teams checked in here yesterday at the Basilica San Marco for a mandatory 12-hour rest period, where they may eat, sleep and mingle with the other teams. Will front-runners Lynda & Chhitij be able to maintain their lead, or will Dean & Penne, or Glora & Kay, climb back to the top of the pack?
Lynda & Chhitij, who were the first team to arrive at 05:31 pm, will depart at 05:31am. They grab their clue from the box out the front of the Basilica and tear it open:
Climb to the top of Campanile San Marco and take in the sunrise over Venice. At the top of the bell tower you will find your next clue.
"So you mean I've got to go back out there???" asks Lynda incredulously, indicating towards the piazza. "There's pigeons out there! I hate pigeons. Pigeons are rats with wings. Look at them all, sitting out there eyeing me off with their beady little eyes."
But Chhitij calms her down and they walk across to the nearby bell-tower and begin ascending the endless staircase. At 05:52 they reach the top, admire the spectacular view and open their next clue.
Fly to Abidjan in Cote D'Ivoire, Africa. Once there, take a taxi to Le Plateau business district and search the foreshore of the Ébrié Lagoon for the Clue Box.
Lynda & Chhitij race for the airport.
06:32 - Bess & Fidel depart the Pitstop and begin their ascent of the tower. "I really hate that team who took the Fast Forward and stole our rightful first-place victory," says Bess. "But that's not going to happen again. If there's a Fast Forward this leg, we're going for it and we're gunna win it. Right, Fidel?" "Woof!"
07:39 - Phil & Sean depart the Pitstop. A minute later, Sarah & Buddy follow. "I think we should wait for Glora & Kay," says Buddy. "Why?" asks Sarah. "Because I like them, I think they're a good team." "Oooh, Buddy has a crush on Glora," teases Sarah. "No, you idiot. Not Glora, Kay." "Kay?" asks Sarah. "Yeah, Kay's hot and I want to do imaginary-friend things to her." "Kay's a guy, you idiot," says Sarah. "Oh," says Buddy, "I thought Kay was a chick, because 'Kay' is a chick's name and I can't see he's a guy because he's imaginary." "Fuckwit," says Sarah.
06:49 - Bess & Fidel get to the top of the Campolino bell-tower and get the clue directing them to Africa.
06:52 - Lynda & Chhitij arrive at Marco Polo International Airport on the Italian mainland. They find a flight to Abidjan via Paris with a stop-over in Morocco. They book their tickets and wait for the flight.
06:56 - Sarah & Buddy get to the top of the Campolino. One minute later, Dave & Boon-Mee depart the pitstop and begin their ascent of the tower.
07:00 - Phil & Sean get the top of the bell-tower. Phil is exhausted. Meanwhile, down below, Dean & Penne and Glora & Kay are departing the pitstop together. They jog across to the Campolino and begin their ascent.
07:15 - Dave & Boon-Mee get to the top of the tower and collect their clue directing them to Africa. "Dirty, stinkin', rotten," Dave mutters, but Boon-Mee is ecstatic. "Rorng hai nam dtah bpen pao dtah" she says.
07:20 - Glora & Kay and Dean & Penne arrive at the top of the Campolino and get their clue. They take off to the airport.
Teams arrive at Marco Polo International Airport and begin searching for flights to Abidjan.
09:00 - Lynda & Chhitij, Dave & Boon-Mee, Glora & Kay and Dean & Penne board an Alitalia flight to Paris, France, where they have tickets to take them on a Air France flight to Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire, with a one-hour stop-over in Rabat, Morocco. This flight is due to arrive in Abidjan at 21:30.
10:00 - Sarah & Buddy, Bess & Fidel and Phil & Sean depart Venice for Rome. They have booked tickets for an Alitalia flight direct from Rome to Abidjan, which is scheduled to arrive at 20:00.
10:30 - Sarah & Buddy, Bess & Fidel and Phil & Sean touch down in Rome.
10:30 - Lynda & Chhitij, Dave & Boon-Mee, Glora & Kay and Dean & Penne arrive in Paris.
In the Paris airport, Glora & Kay sneak off and explore other options for flying to Cote D'Ivoire. They learn that a Royal Air Maroc flight arrives in Abidjan half and hour earlier than the Air France flight, and that because the origin of the flight is from within Africa, they should have an easier time coming through customs. They book tickets on the flight, hoping that nobody else finds out about it.
14:00 - Lynda & Chhitij, Dave & Boon-Mee, Glora & Kay and Dean & Penne depart Paris on the Air France flight.
16:00 - Sarah & Buddy, Bess & Fidel and Phil & Sean depart Rome on the direct Alitalia flight to Abidjan.
17:00 - Lynda & Chhitij, Dave & Boon-Mee, Glora & Kay and Dean & Penne arrive Rabat, on the 1 hour stop-over.
17:45 - Glora & Kay (Australia's Last Line of Defense) pretend to go and buy some food. They sneak away from the other teams and board the Royal Air Maroc flight.
18:00 - Lynda & Chhitij, Dave & Boon-Mee and Dean & Penne board the Air France flight. "Glora and her imaginary boyfriend have disappeared. Nobody has seen them. We think they've found an earlier flight, but I hope they've got stuck or something and miss this flight..." says Lynda.
20:00 - Sarah & Buddy, Bess & Fidel and Phil & Sean arrive in Abidjan, the former capital of Cote D'Ivoire. The city is still the economic capital of the country, and is one of the few African cities to have skyscrapers. Because of heavy French colonial influence, the city is steeped in European decadence and culture, and is commonly known as "the Paris of Africa". Teams will need to take a cab to the La Plateau district (the city's CBD) and search the shores of the Ébrié Lagoon for the cluebox.
20:22 - Bess & Fidel (Playmates) (1st) find the route-marker at Ébrié Lagoon. They rip the clue open and read their new instructions:
Make your way on foot to the Gare Routière d'Adjamé bus station and catch a bus to Yamoussoukro. At the Yamoussoukro bus station you will find a marked 4WD with your next clue on the dash. Busses run on the hour until midnight, and resume their services at 05:00 am. The ride takes 4 hours.
20:28 - Phil & Sean (Good Friends) (2nd) arrive at the lakeside cluebox and pull the clue directing them to the bus station. Because Phil didn't submit his progress survey, he will not say anything funny this week. Or anything at all.
20:32 - Bess & Fidel (Playmates) arrive at the bus station and book a seat to Yamoussoukro, the capital of Cote D'Ivoire. Six minutes later, Phil & Sean arrive and do the same.
10:38 - Sarah & Buddy (Shared Hallucination) (3rd) arrive at Ébrié Lagoon. Ten minutes later they too arrive at the bus station.
21:00 - Bess & Fidel, Sarah & Buddy and Phil & Sean board the bus to Yamoussoukro and leave Abidjan behind them.
21:00 - Glora & Kay (Australia's last line of Defense) (4th) arrive in Abidjan on their sneaky Royal Air Maroc flight. They begin searching for a taxi.
21:30 - Lynda & Chhitij, Dave & Boon-Mee and Dean & Penne arrive in Abidjan. However, as they are entering Customs they are all detained, having entered the country on a flight from France (these two countries being enemies).
21:32 - Glora & Kay (4th) arrive at Ébrié Lagoon. They make their way to the bus station and board the 22:00 bus.
23:30 - Lynda & Chhitij, Dave & Boon-Mee and Dean & Penne are all released from custody, having been detained for two hours, and resume racing. They go to the Lagoon, and Dean & Penne are the first team to arrive at the bus station at 00:09. They learn they have missed the last bus to Yamoussoukro and will have to wait til 05:00 for the next bus. Lynda & Chhitij and Dave & Boon-Mee arrive shortly there-after and they all make themselves comfortable on the benches to sleep.
01:00 - Bess & Fidel, Sarah & Buddy and Phil & Sean arrive at a dark area of open space in the middle of a shanty-town. They are told that this is the bus station of the country's capital city. They disembark, and sure enough find the marked cars parked nearby. The envelope on the dash has an ordinary route-marker clue and a Fast Forward.
Route Marker: Drive to the Plantation Verte de Collines, on the outskirts of the city in municipality of Tié- diékro
Fast Forward: Drive two hours to the isolated virgin rainforest at Parc National de Taï, where you will meet a local forest guide. The guide will provide you with a Polaroid camera, and track down an endangered pygmy hippopotamus. This bizarre, little-known animal spends most of its time out of water, foraging in the understory of the rainforest. You must take of photo of a pygmy hippo to get your next clue. This task requires little skill, but teams must weigh up the pros and cons of driving two hours each way.
The teams decide to band together and help each other with navigating.
"Bess & Fidel and Captain Fantastic and us have decided to form an alliance to try and muscle Dean & Penne out of the running," says Sarah. "We calling it the Better-than-you Alliance."
They all take off and soon find themselves driving along a deserted 6-lane freeway with thousands of street-lights lighting the way. "This is so weird," says Sarah, "We're the only ones on this road, I could be driving with my eyes shut." "Don't!" says Buddy.
At 01:15 the leading three teams find the Plantation Verte de Collines, with its gates locked.
"Hours of operation, 07:00 to 17:00," reads Bess. "Well, bugger this for a lark; let's go for the Fast Forward." "Good idea," says Fidel. "Say it properly, Fidel," admonishes Bess. Fidel sighs, and then says "Woof!" "Good boy," says Bess, patting Fidel's head. They take off for the Fast Forward.
"They're going for the Fast Forward," says Sarah as she sees Bess & Fidel drive away from the plantation. "They didn't even tell us. Well, that's the end of them then, they've deserted the Better-than-you Alliance and they're dead to us now." Buddy, Phil and Sean agree.
02:00 - Glora & Kay arrive at the Yamoussoukro bus station. "Kay, look, there's a Fast Forward," "Let's do it!," says Kay. They jump in the car and take off for Parc National de Taï.
02:55 - Bess & Fidel arrive at Parc National de Taï, and see the gates are locked. "Crap, it doesn't open til 9 am! What is this shit?" bitches Bess. "Woof!" agrees Fidel.
Meanwhile in Glora & Kay's car...
G:"You're such a Love Pirate, Kay."
K: "Love Pirate Kay, ey? I like the sound of that... From now on, if you wanna get it on, I'm gonna have to hear an "AAARGH" from you!"
K: "What was that, did I hear an "argh"?"
Glora shakes her head and rolls her eyes.
K: "Argh, baby. Arrrrgh!"
[NOTE: I didn't write this. Gloria did. The joke is from The Legend of Blood Ninja. Don't email me about it.]
04:00 - Glora & Kay arrive at Parc National de Taï and see that Bess & Fidel are also waiting. "We've got to beat them," says Kay. "If we drive back to Yamoussoukro we'll be like 4 hours behind the other teams!"
05:00 - Lynda & Chhitij, Dave & Boon-Mee and Dean & Penne catch the bus to Yamoussoukro.
07:00 - Plantation Verte de Collines opens and Sarah & Buddy and Phil & Sean rush in to the cluebox. They pull a roadblock: "Who's a chocoholic?"
"That's you!" says Sarah to Buddy. "I can't eat much chocolate."
"Do you want to do it?" Phil asks Sean. Sean agrees to take it. They open the Roadblock clue and read the task description:
A roadblock is a task that only one team-member may complete. In this roadblock, that person must help out with Cote D'Ivoire's largest export: cocoa. Cote D'Ivoire is the largest producer of cocoa in the world, and the cacao-pods are collected manually. The team-member performing this task must use the traditional sickle-on-a-stick to cut the foot-long pods from the trees. Each pod weighs half a kilogram, and the racer completing this roadblock must harvest half a tonne of them. Scales are provided for each team.
"That's one thousand pods!" says Buddy, horrified. "Then it's a good thing you're doing it and not me," says Sarah.
Buddy and Sean set to work harvesting the pods.
09:00 - Parc National de Taï opens. Bess & Fidel and Glora & Kay pick a guide. The guides give them a Polaroid camera and lead them separate ways into the jungle.
09:00 - Lynda & Chhitij, Dave & Boon-Mee and Dean & Penne arrive at the Yamoussoukro bus station and grab their cars.
"We're on our way to some plantation with a stupid French name," says Lynda as Chhitij drives. "I can't believe that this is the capital city of the country. It's all shanties and poor people. Good roads though. Holy shit! Chhitij! Look at that out there!" Chittij looks across the river where Lynda is pointing. "Jesus fucking Christ, it's amazing!" Chittij blasphemes. Rising from the morning mist across the river is a colossal Baroque cathedral, dwarfing everything before it. "What is something like that doing here in this shanty town in the middle of the jungle???"
Meanwhile, Dave & Boon-Mee are having troubles of their own. They take a wrong turn and the avenue abruptly dead-ends in the middle of jungle.
Dean & Penne too are lost, and currently in the middle of an argument. "Maybe we would have gone the right way if you didn't have the map upside down!" says Dean angrily. Best not to linger here too long, so...
...Bess & Fidel and Glora & Kay are being guided through dense rainforest in search of the elusive pygmy hippopotamus. No luck yet.
At the plantation, Buddy is powering through the Roadblock, very adept with the sickle. Sean, meanwhile, has begun whinging about getting a sore neck from looking up all the time.
09:15 - Lynda & Chhitij (Dating) arrive at the cocoa plantation, followed closely by Dave & Boon-Mee (Man and Ladyboy). Lynda & Chhitij get an idea of what the roadblock involves, and Chhitij takes the challenge. Dave & Boon-Mee are still discussing who will do the Roadblock. "I not addicted to chocolate," says Boon-Mee, "I no like chocolate. You do it, Davey." "You don't like chocolate? But I see you sneaking it all the time. And what about our bodypaint?" "I no like chocolate," says Boon-Mee firmly. "You do it." So Dave does.
09:21 - Dean & Penne (Tweedle-Dum & Tweedle-Dee) arrive at the Roadblock. Penne takes the challenge, and is upset to learn what it really involves. Meanwhile, Sarah sees that her foes have arrived and urges Buddy to work faster. "The Looney-Tunes are here, Buddy. Work faster." "I'm getting there," says Buddy wearily. "My little imaginary friend.... I am now making you a piggy in my mind... Chop little one, chop... Show all those real people how great you really are!!!"
The five teams at the Roadblock continue toiling away under the tropical sun.
09:30 - Sneaking through the jungle, Glora & Kay's guide find them a pygmy hippopotamus grazing in a forest clearing. "Quick, photograph it!" says Glora. Kay does so, and the photo is ejected out the front of the Polaroid camera.
Meanwhile, Bessie & Fidel's guide gets a radio message telling him that the Fast Forward has been won and that the must return the Playmates to their car.
Glora & Kay (Australia's last line of defense) turn their photo over to find their clue on the back.
Drive to the pitstop at the Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix de Yamoussoukro. Built in 1989, this awe-inspiring cathedral was modeled after St Peter's Basilica in Rome, and is the largest place of Christian worship in the world. The last team to arrive may be eliminated.
Glora & Kay are returned to their car, and begin the long journey back to Yamoussoukro. Bess & Fidel are not far ahead of them. "Those bitches, they stole our Fast Forward!" snitches Bess. "We are not going out because of this. If we get there and we're last, I'm going to shove this flagpole in Bray's eye. Or up his nose. And then I'm going to do the same to those Spy Hard bitches."
09:45 - Two and three-quarter hours after he started, Buddy finishes the roadblock. A giant pile of cacao pods are beside him, and his hands are blistered from the pole, but his great strength and stamina helped him immensely. The overseer hands him and Sarah their next clue:
Drive yourselves to the Baule cultural village marked on the enclosed map.
Meanwhile, Sean, Chhitij, Dave and Penne struggle with the roadblock.
"This is hard, Phil," whines Sean. "My neck is sore from looking up all the time, and my arms hurt from holding the scythe thingy up high."
"You're expecting words of encouragement?" asks Phil incredulously. "Then I think you chose the wrong partner."
[Oh yeah, Phil & Sean are talking now, because Phil submitted his progress survey. Three weeks late, so his progress has been randomly generated, but at least there's some quotes I can use now]
10:00 - Sarah & Buddy arrive at the Baule village. It's a collection of traditional houses and farms. Near the entrance they find the cluebox. "It's a detour," says Buddy. "Shit," says Sarah, "I'm stuffed. When is this leg going to end???" "So do you want to hear the options or not?" asks Buddy. "Yeah, OK, then."
Teams must herd a flock of 25 helmeted guinea-fowl from their holding-pen to a flagged pen on the other side of the field. The birds are skittish and flighty, and it will take all of your co-ordination to keep the flock together and direct it successfully. Once a team has all their birds contained in the second pen, they will be given their next clue.
Teams must pick a carved Baule war-mask mask from one of eight that are located in a sealed glass box in the flagged hut. Without removing their chosen mask, teams must examine it minutely and then proceed into the village square, where they will then try to locate it's replica from amongst 500 other carved wooden masks. Once teams think they have the right mask, they will present it to the village elder. If it is indeed the same as the mask the team picked at the start, he will give them their next clue. This task is best suited to those with keen memories and an eye for detail.
"Right, we're doing the guinea-bird-mawhatsits, we're going to get it done quickly, and then the next clue bloody better well be for the Pitstop. I've been up for more than 24 hours, I haven't been allowed to smoke since I started this race and I'm getting PISSED OFF." "Yes, God," says Buddy meekly. They find the guinea-fowl and let them out of their coop. The birds quickly run to their new freedom, and Sarah & Buddy begin futilely trying to herd them towards the other end of the paddock.
10:15 - Sean finishes the Roadblock. "You took long enough," says Phil. "We started at the same time as the Hosers and they finished half an hour ahead of us." "That was friggin' hard," moans Sean, "Have some compassion, would you?"
They take off for the Baule village and arrive at 10:30. They too choose the guinea-fowl option, since Phil considers himself good with animals. "Yeah, but how many skinks have you killed?" asks Sean wryly.
Bess & Fidel are still driving back to Yamoussoukro from their failed attempt to win the Fast Forward. They come up behind Glora & Kay, who are on their way to the pitstop. Bess tailgates them, then overtakes them, gives the finger and speeds off down the highway. "Wow, they really are the most horrible team in the race," says Kay.
10:43 - After much squarking and flapping and uncensored profanities, Sarah & Buddy (Shared Hallucination) have managed to get the guinea-fowl into the other pen. "Your co-ordination sucks, Buddy," says Sarah. "Yeah, well so do your animal skills," retorts Buddy. Sarah tears open the clue.
Drive to the pitstop at the Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix de Yamoussoukro. Built in 1989, this awe-inspiring cathedral was modeled after St Peter's Basilica in Rome, and is the largest place of Christian worship in the world. The last team to arrive may be eliminated.
They jump in their car and take off.
11:00 - After tearing down the highway skyline on the back of a hurricane, Bess & Fidel (Playmates) finally arrive at the Roadblock. "Chocolate. I'm doing it," snaps Bess. "Anyway, Mom says dogs aren't allowed to have chocolate. But you can have the rest of milk." "I'm not a dog stubbornly," says Fidel. Bessie hits him over the back of the head and he whimpers. Naturally, Bess becomes even more pissed off to find that she doesn't actually get to eat any chocolate, but having a sharp instrument in her hands makes her feel a little happier.
11:07 - Phil & Sean (Good Friends) finish the detour in 3rd place and take off for the Pitstop at the Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix de Yamoussoukro.
11:30 - A car arrives at the entrance to Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix de Yamoussoukro. Glora & Kay (Australia's last line of Defense) climb out and run through the columned piazza to the mat. "Glora & Kay, congratulations, you are team number one!" says Bray.
"Kickass!" Glora & Kay say at the same time.
"Do you guys always say the same thing at the same time?" Bray asks.
"Aw, you know what they say about people under the age of 25," says Kay. "They all have one thing on their minds."
"Urgh, no they don't" says Glora, making a funny face <_<.
"Did I just hear an "argh", babe?" asks Kay.
"No." says mood-killer Glora.
[Gloria wrote this also - it was her comment for if she won - long live Blood Ninja]
Glora & Kay are just leaving the mat when Phil & Sean (Good Friends) run up. "Phil & Sean, you are team number two!"
"And if Phil hadn't have stuffed up the navigating we'd have beaten the Fast Forward team and come first," says Sean, still bitter with Phil's lack of encouragement at the Roadblock.
Back at the Roadblock... Chhitij, Penne, Dave and Bess are toiling away beneath the trees. Penne is whimpering in pain. "Itchy hairs keep falling out the trees," she sobs. "It hurts, and ants are biting me too." Dean gives her no support, since he didn't submit his survey. But Lynda gives Chhitij support. "You're almost done! Go Chhitij!" she cheers. "Go Short-Round," he moans in response. Boon-Mee is less than supportive. "Get on with it, dammit," she shrieks. The piles of cacao pods grow slowly.
12:18 - Chhitij finishes the roadblock. He & Lynda (4th) drive to the Baule village.
12:21 - Dave finishes the roadblock and he & Boon-Mee (5th) drive to the Baule village.
12:24 - Penne, in tears and pain, finishes the roadblock with no support from her mute partner. She & Dean (6th) drive to the Baule village.
12:33 - Lynda & Chhitij (Dating) arrive at the Baule village in 4th place. "Helmeted," says Chhitij firmly. "We'll do the birds." "But I don't like birds," Lynda says, "I want to do the masks." "Babe, that's like 500 masks, it's not going to be easy. At least we can get this done quickly." Lynda protests a bit more, but they do the birds anyway. Upon being let out of their cage, the flock of guinea-fowl disperses and birds run all over the field.
12:36 - Dave & Boon-Mee arrive at the village and choose the Mask detour.
12:41 - Dean & Penne arrive at the village and choose the guinea-fowl detour.
"Get over there!!!" ""For Fuck Sakes!!!" "Jesus Fucking Christ!!!!" "That's it, I'm not doing this Detour," screams Lynda, breaking down. Birds are running everywhere, and Team Dating are no closer to finishing than they were when they started.
"Do you want to change Detours?" asks Chhitij.
"YES!!!" screams Lynda.
They leave the crazy birds to run around the field and go and chose a mask from the hut in the village.
Dean & Penne, meanwhile, have let their birds out and are having better luck at herding them, though Penne is a little uncoordinated.
"This too hard," says Boon-Mee, overwhelmed by all the seemingly-identical masks in the village square. "We never find our mask. Let's go play with birdies." "No, it's not too hard," says Dave. "Look at the angle of the nose, and the eyes. We just have to find the masks that have these features, and it'll narrow down the choices a lot. It's all in the detail."
Lynda & Chhitij are now searching for their matching mask, along with Dave & Boon-Mee. Dean & Penne have their guinea-fowl in a tight flock and are mastering the herding technique.
13:13 - Dave & Boon-Mee (Good Mates) find their mask and get the clue directing them to the pitstop. They jump in their car and drive.
13:18 - Dean & Penne (Tweedle-Dum & Tweedle-Dee) get their birds into the pen at the other end of the field and head for the pitstop.
13:24 - Lynda & Chhitij (Dating) finally finish the detour, having completed the mask challenge, and drive to the pitstop.
"Davey, stop!" shrieks Boon-Mee as Dave drives round a corner only to find the road has yet-again dead-ended abruptly in the jungle. "Second time today," he grumbles. "Who built these roads?!"
"What's this?" asks Penne as she & Dean approach a convoy of army trucks parked across the road. "Must be a military roadblock," suggests Dean. They are come to a stop and an armed soldier comes over to the car and confirms they're looking for rebel militia. It takes them 10 minutes to be allowed to go again, and they notice that Lynda & Chhitij are waiting in the queue behind them. It takes Team Dating 10 minutes also to get through the checkpoint.
13:32 - "Dave & Boon-Mee, you are team number three," says Bray.
"Eiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeiiiiiiiii! What we win?!" squeals Boon-Mee.
"Nothing. You're team number three."
13:49 - "Dean & Penne, you are team number four," says Bray. They remain mute.
13:54 - "Lynda & Chhitij, you are team number five."
"For fuck sakes Bray, you didn't make it easy!" snaps Lynda.
14:49 - Bess finishes the roadblock. There was a big drama (Bess had a breakdown and threatened to quit) but because this is already ten friggin' pages I'm not writing it.
14:34 - Bess & Fidel (Playmates) arrive at the Baule village and pick the guinea-fowl detour. However, they're both unco and can't control the birds and it takes them a long time.
15:22 - Bess & Fidel finish the Detour and drive to the Pitstop. They know they're last, but to add salt to the wound they get stopped for a further ten minutes at the military checkpoint.
15:44 - "Bess & Fidel, I'm afraid to tell you that you are the last team to arrive today," says Bray gravely.
"Frig friggity frig frig!" "Woof Woof."
"However, I do have some good news for you. Sarah & Buddy still haven't finished the leg and won't be checking in at this pitstop because they were abducted by rebels. So you live to race another leg."
"Yay! Yay Yayyity Yay! Yay!" "Woof Woof."
"Sarah & Buddy were kidnapped on their way to the pitstop (in first place). Negotiations for their release are underway. This was going to a non-elimination leg anyway, so if we can persuade their captors to release them in the next 12 hours they'll be able to continue racing," says Bray. Fade to black.
1/ Glora & Kay (Australia's Last Line of Defense) - FAST FORWARD
2/ Phil & Sean (Good Friends)
3/ Dave & Boon-Mee (Good Mates)
4/ Dean & Penne (Tweedle-Dum & Tweedle-Dee)
5/ Lynda & Chhitij (Dating)
6/ Bess & Fidel (Playmates)
7/ Sarah & Buddy (Shared Hallucination) - KIDNAPPED!
Basilica San Marco (Pitstop)
Campolino San Marco
Gare Routière d'Adjamé bus station
Plantation Verte de Collines (Roadblock)
Parc National de Taï (Fast Forward)
Baule cultural village (Detour)
Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix de Yamoussoukro (Pitstop)