March 9 2006

Amazing Race 9, Episode 2

The second leg of the Amazing Race started off with the teams departing the soccer stadium with their clues. The first stop on this leg was to travel 2 & 1/2 miles to Edificio Copan and find the Bloco F entrance, where they would find their next clue.

As always, the teams departed in the order they arrived with Eric & Jeremy departing at 5:34 AM. BJ & Tyler left at 5:36 AM, and oddly seem to have formed an alliance with Eric & Jeremy who waited around for them. Folks…this has to be the oddest alliance in the history of the race…the Hippies and the Beach Bums. Just plain odd. As seem to be par for the course, when teams arrived at the building, they found it didn’t open until 8:00 AM, allowing all 10 teams to catch up. Stupid equalizers, cause sure enough, all 10 teams were there in time. It was nice for once to see teams telling each other as they arrived that there was no reason to rush in as it wasn’t open yet.

Once 8:00 AM rolled around, the teams raced out in to a courtyard and found a clue containing their first Roadblock. One team member was to race up one of three fire escapes to the roof. Once there, they would then rappel down the 400 feet to the bottom to receive their next clue. The order they arrived at the roof is the order they would come down in, so it made sense for teams to use different fire escapes. So, could someone tell me why only two of them got used and there ended up being a fairly long wait on one of them? BJ had the right idea by going to the furthest one because he had no competition being the first to the top! Idiots.

Once the teams completed the task, they received a clue instructing them to go to the Barra Funda Bus Station and locate tickets for one of three buses. Each bus would be leaving an hour apart, and they would tavel 150 miles to Brotas. Once in Brotas they would choose a parked VW Bug from outside the station and they would find their clues on the windshileds. The buses broke down as:

10:15 AM Bus – BJ & Tyler, Joseph & Monica and Eric & Jeremy
11:15 AM Bus – Ray & Yolanda, Wanda & Desiree and Dave & Lori
12:15 PM Bus – Lake & Michelle, Fran & Barry, Lisa & Joni and Danielle & Dani

Upon arriving at the VW Bugs, the teams opened their clues to find a Detour waiting for them.

In this Detour, Teams had to choose between Press It and Climb It. In Press It, Teams needed to travel to Camping Bela Vista, an old plantation, and process raw sugar cane into juice. Then, Teams had to distill fermented juice to create 500 milliliters of ethanol, an alternative fuel source. After completing the task, Teams would have to pour the newly created ethanol into their gas tanks before continuing on. While the task wasn’t demanding, completing the scientific process could take a long time. In Climb It, Teams needed to travel to Usina Jacare and hike to a nearby waterfall where they would have to perform a 90-foot rope climb up the waterfall using mechanical ascenders. The task would be extremely physical, but a Team that could master the use of the ascenders could finish fast.

Since the teams of Bus 1 had such a lead, they decided to work together to the Climb It challange and not kill themselves racing each other. The Beach Bums are proving to be quite the womanizers, even lamenting the fact Monica has a boyfriend. Nice guys…real nice. After they finished the climb they were given a clue telling them to drive to Fazenda Primavera da Serra, a coffee plantation that was serving as the Pit Stop for this lef of the race.

Dave & Lori chose to do Press It, as did the mother & daughter team of Wanda & Desiree. These were actually the only two teams to do this challange, and I have to say it was rather interesting to see stalks of sugar cane go from raw to fueling a car! Very nifty.

The teams of BJ & Tyler and Eric & Jeremy got a local to lead them to the coffee plantation. When they started to feel they had gone to far, BJ & Tyler decided to keep following the local while Eric & Jeremy stopped at a gas station, only to learn the local had been correct. Pulling off cost them first place and BJ & Tyler won a trip to Tahiti thanks to Travelocity for coming in first.

All the teams from the third bus took Climb It and got through the event. Lisa & Joni had major problems with driving their manual car while Fran & Barry had their battery die and had to get a replacemant car. According to the rules of the race, if a vehicle breaks down through no fault of the team, a new vehicle is provided, but no time credit is given. The race came down to these two teams, and though it was well after dark before either team arrived, it was Lisa & Joni who came in last and were eliminated from the Amazing Race.

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