November 2 2005

Amazing Race 8, Episode 6

Amazing Race:Family Edition started off where we left, at the Panama Canal. The Paolos (how, and why, are they still in this race?) were the first to open their clue. They were instructed to find one of three charter buses that would drive them over 600 miles to San Jose, Costa Rica. The buses were first come, first served, and each bus could only take two teams. With 30 minutes between each bus departure, you needed to get there fast. Once in San Jose, they needed to travel 35 miles to the of Volcan Poas, a 1000-foot deep active volcano, for their next clue.

The Paolos were on the first bus, and then wanted to make sure the dreaded Weavers wouldn’t be on theirs, so they helped the Linz family find the 11:30 AM bus, securing the Weavers would be later. So, bus 1 at 11:30 AM was the Paolos and Linzs, bus 2 at 12:00 PM was the Weavers and Gaghans and on the 12:30 PM bus were the Bransens and Godlewskis. No big surprise on the Godlewskis since they started with no money since they came in last in the previous leg and were stripped of their money.

Once in San Jose, the Linzs and Paolos teamed up to have a cab driver lead them to the volcano. Upon arriving though, they find the gates locked, meaning the teams would again equalize as they waited for morning. Stupid equalizers. I understand they need to do it because otherwise you will have a really unbalanced race (see Amazing Race 1 for what I mean, don’t want to spoil it), but still, you do get annoyed with them sometimes. The Gaghans and Weavers had trouble finding their cars at first, but still made it to the volcano in time to sit and wait with everyone else.

Once the gates opened in the morning, the teams dashed for the clue box and found out that they needed to drive 17 miles to the Doka Estate, a coffee plantation, where, not only their next clue awaited, but there was also a Yield. As this is the first time this has happened this race, let me explain. Any team may place a Yield on a team behind them. Once that team reaches the Yield, they must turn over an hour glass and wait for it to run out before they move on. In the past, these have rarely been used, but this time it seemed everyone was planning to use it on the Weavers. As the Paolos got there first, they used the Yield, as suspected, on the Weavers.

Here was the silly part though. The Weavers had been in second place when they left the volcano. It was due to stopping to ask for directions from a local that they got passed by all the remaining teams, putting them in last place. So not only where they last, they then got Yielded. Not a good day for the Weavers. After the Paolos used the Yield, they got many thank yous and high fives from the other teams.

Inside the clue at the coffee planatation was a Roadblock. The selected team member would have to search through 800 lbs of coffee beans for the lone red bean. Even I cringed at that concept. Once completed, the clue instruced the teams to drive 94 miles to a small town named Jaco. Once there they had to locate a small surf shop and receiver their next clue from an employee named Javier. First team out was the Godlewski family, followed closely by the Paolos. The came the fun as the Weavers arrived to discover their Yield and got to see the Linz and Bransens run past them having complete the Roadblock.

This is what irked me. The Weavers go on and on about how superior they are and that they are so nice. So what do they do during the Yield? Go through pictures of the other teams and make fun of them like kids would, all the time the mother is laughing. I am sorry this family lost their father/husband, but they sure aren’t showing themselves to be that nice. Once the Yield was over, they joined the Gaghans in the hunt for the red bean, which was not going well for Mama Gaghan. Sadly, the Weavers found it first, leaving the Gaghans to continue to hunt.

At the surf shop, the teams received their clue to the Detour. As usual, here is the official site’s explanation:

“In this Detour, Teams had to choose between Relic and Ripe. In Relic, Teams traveled to a nearby rainforest and traversed six precarious rope bridges while searching for four relics of the Mayan civilization. After delivering the relics to an archaeologist, they would receive their next clue. In Ripe, Teams traveled to a nearby banana plantation, gathered 15 bushels of bananas, and loaded them onto hanging tracks. Then, using a locally devised pulley system, Teams needed to haul the bananas to the distribution center.”

The Paolos were the only one’s to do Ripe, while everyone else did Relic. Not sure which one I would have gone for. After each team finished the Detour, they received a clue telling them to drive 20 miles to the town of Quepos and find the Pit Stop for this leg of the race.

The pit stop became a foot race between the Paolos, the Bransens and the Linzes. Sadly, the Paolos came in first…again. It seems screaming gets you places. The big disappointment of the week though was the Weavers beating the Gaghans. I have really admired the Gaghans and am sorry to see them go. And if you didn’t go “awwwwwwwww” to poor little 9 year old Carissa trying to fight back tears of disappointment, your heart is made of stone.

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