BATES & ANTHONY BEST IN BOTSWANA
Teams raced with the bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana where hockey brothers Bates & Anthony won the leg and newlyweds Max & Katie came in last.
BOUND FOR BOTSWANA
Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 10:40pm, best friends Pam & Winnie ripped open their clue instructing them to make their way to Maun in the Kalahari Desert. Teams had to figure out they needed to fly more than 6,000 miles across the Indian Ocean to the African nation of Botswana. When they landed, they had to find Mack Air and sign up for one of three flights taking them to the breathtaking Makgadikgdi Pans National Park on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. Using the Internet in a nearby hotel, Pam & Winnie discovered that they had to buy tickets to Botswana. Next, they took a taxi to a local travel agency and told the security guard the name of the country that they were flying to in order to gain entry to the building. After some research, the best friends booked the earliest available flight. However, it wouldn’t depart until 10:45am – enough time to allow the remaining six teams to catch up.
Departing the Pit Stop in last place, married couple Chuck & Wynona still felt shell-shocked from being U-Turned in the previous leg. The duo faced problems early on, as they couldn’t figure out what country Maun was located in to gain entry to the travel agency. After guessing Kenya, Bangladesh, Australia, Turkey, and even Paraguay, Chuck finally determined that the correct answer was Botswana. At the airport, the two U-Turned teams from the previous leg chose to confront the teams who U-Turned them. When Joey & Meghan approached Chuck & Wynona, Wynona sharply began, “Thanks! You’re the ones we thank?” When the Youtube hosts explained that they only U-Turned the married couple because they were U-Turned, Wynona said, “So it was eeny meeny miny moe, Chuck & Wynona gotta go? I got my eye on you.” After that awkward encounter, Joey struck up a conversation with Pam & Winnie, who U-Turned them, asking, “What was the prize that you stole from us?” Pam told Joey to consider the U-Turn a compliment because he and Meghan were such fast racers. Privately, Joey still suspected that teams had already planned to U-Turn them ahead of time. Meghan agreed saying, “They should be afraid of what’s coming.”
Landing in Maun, Botswana, the six teams ran across the street from the small airport to the offices of Mack Air. Seeing a signup board in the front window, country singers Caroline & Jennifer got seats on the 9:00am charter flight along with hockey brothers Bates & Anthony. Newlyweds Max & Katie signed up for the 9:15am charter with Youtube hosts Joey & Meghan. Roller derby moms Mona & Beth, best friends Pam & Winnie, and married couple Chuck & Wynona were left to board the 9:30am flight. After finishing in last or near last on the last three legs, Chuck & Wynona felt a familiar and unwanted trend continuing. Chuck commented, “It hurt. Everyone’s fast. They beat us over to the board. I just feel we’re gonna be in trouble down the road.”
INTO THE DESERT
The following morning at 9:00am, Caroline & Jennifer and Bates & Anthony boarded their small charter plane and took off into the Kalahari Desert. Feeling a little nervous on such a small plane, Bates & Anthony joked that they were happy to have the country singers on board to take care of them. Their fear prompted Caroline to call them “a bunch of babies.” However, the hockey brothers’ trepidation turned to wonder when they spotted a pack of elephants roaming the desert below them. Max & Katie wished they could be on the second charter flight with anyone but Joey & Meghan. Meanwhile, Chuck elicited laughs from Beth, who was also on his flight, when he said, “This is where The Lion King was made right here.” The married couple continued to worry about being in last with Mona & Beth and Pam & Winnie who Wynona called “great runners.”
A NEW BEST FRIEND
Landing on a narrow dirt strip, Caroline & Jennifer and Bates & Anthony ran from the charter plane to a small, furnished hut referred to as the Xhumaga Airstrip Lounge to rip open their next clue instructing them to drive down Old Xhumaga Road. At the tiny Airstrip Parking Lot, the two teams each jumped into a vehicle and began a caravan down the road until they reached a group of unfamiliar men who stood waiting for them. The teams ran up to a large branch in front of the men that held a glass jar with the next clue – a Roadblock. The Kalahari Bushmen are the earliest inhabitants of Southern Africa, having survived there for tens of thousands of years. This Roadblock gave teams the opportunity to learn a skill from the indigenous people when they went in search of a Bushmen’s best friend – a scorpion. First, the Bushmen would lead them to a scorpion hole, where they would be taught how to dig out one of the poisonous creatures. The Bushmen would then carefully place the scorpion in the jar and lead the teams to their next clue. Bates and Caroline each chose a group of three Bushmen, who led them into the stark wilderness of the Kalahari Desert. On the way to the scorpion holes, the Bushmen walking with Caroline crouched down, looked in the distance where a lion roamed, and then darted up a tree for safety. An oblivious Caroline later said, “I didn’t see anything. I guess I should’ve followed them because they were very worried.” Caroline simply waited for the Bushmen to scamper down the tree as the lion moved away in the distance. As Max and a fearful Joey each chose a trio of Bushmen to start their journey, Bates and Caroline arrived at some scorpion holes. Initially, they watched as the Bushmen used sticks and their bare hands to dig before doing it themselves. After a few minutes of digging, Bates saw a scorpion emerge from the dry dirt. A bushman quickly picked up the scorpion with his hands, played with it a moment, and had Bates touch the deadly pinchers before putting it in the jar for the hockey brother to carry. Ripping open the next clue, Bates & Anthony discovered they had to take their three new friends for a ride in their vehicle and continue down Old Xhumaga Road.
With Texas native Caroline collecting her scorpion quickly in second place, Max began his dig by putting on a glove while Joey panicked at the prospect of touching the predatory arachnid. He told the Bushmen, “I don’t want to die.” When Max finally unearthed a scorpion, he stood aghast watching a bushman put the creature into his mouth to calm and relax it. Regaining his composure, Max then quickly grabbed the scorpion with a gloved hand and placed it in the jar just behind Mona who surged ahead into third place after being on the last charter flight. As Meghan watched Mona & Beth and Max & Katie drive off, Joey came face to face with his worst nightmare. Seeing the scorpion twist and writhe in the bushman’s hands, Joey grimaced and groaned, asking, “I have to touch that thing?” When Joey begrudgingly put his open palm out, the bushman placed the scorpion on his hand as he remained in sheer terror. As the scorpion danced around on his palm, Joey gasped, “His pinchers are pinching at me!” After putting the scorpion into the glass jar, a more relieved Joey said, “I am glad that is over.” Fighting for last place with Pam, Wynona finally chose to perform a Roadblock, her first since the sand castles in Bora Bora. After expressing some worry as she walked with a trio of Bushmen, Wynona knelt beside the scorpion hole and began using the stick to dig. Eventually, as other teams left, Wynona’s gusto at excavation caused the Bushmen to warn her that her vigorous digging could kill it. Easing up on her force, Wynona shrieked when a scorpion emerged, asking if she’d die if it bit her. Even though she finished the task in last place, she and Chuck were proud that she had completed it.
LIGHT MY FIRE
Driving further down Old Xhumaga Road, Bates & Anthony stopped their vehicle when they spotted a cluebox next to a tree. Ripping open the clue, the hockey brothers discovered a Detour having the choice between Fire and Fowl. Fire required teams to walk with the Bushmen to a nearby campsite and figure out how to make fire using two sticks, zebra manure, and grass. Once they had a flame, they had to light the elder bushman’s pipe to receive their next clue. Fowl required teams to go hunting with the Bushmen by setting a trap to catch a guinea fowl. First, they had to figure out how to construct the clever device using sticks and strings. Then, acting like a guinea fowl, they had to trigger the trap to receive their next clue. Learning animal calls and signals from their trio of Bushmen as they walked through the desert, Bates & Anthony arrived at the nearby campsite where children jumped rope as others sang. The hockey brothers watched a demonstration by the Bushmen as they sprinkled zebra manure over dried grass and then rubbed a stick against the grass until smoke turned into a bright orange flame. Trying to duplicate the Bushmen’s success, Bates & Anthony took turns vigorously rubbing the stick between their hands just as Caroline & Jennifer appeared at the campsite. Bates later commented that he worried about the country singers’ prospects in making fire because the task required strength to rub the stick. After a few minutes, the hockey brothers began seeing wisps of smoke emanating from their grass until finally a flame starting burning. Anthony lit a small stick that he used to light the elder bushman’s pipe to earn the next clue. It instructed him and Bates to make their way on foot with their trio of Bushmen to the next Pit Stop at the safari camp Meno A Kwena overlooking the Boteti River. As Mona & Beth, Max & Katie, and Joey & Meghan all joined Caroline & Jennifer in trying to make fire, hockey brothers Bates & Anthony stepped on the mat in first place with their trio of Bushmen friends. For their victory, the brothers won a trip for two from Travelocity to Phuket, Thailand. On finally getting back on top, they commented, “We’ve learned a lot in these six legs. Think we’re just getting stronger. At least our body odor is.”
SETTING THE SNARE
While four teams continued to try to spark a flame, best friends Pam & Winnie credited their excessive television viewing to know that setting a trap would be easier than making fire. Likewise, expert fisherman and hunter Chuck, who arrived at the Detour in last place with Wynona, also felt setting a trap would play to his strengths. Both teams first watched their Bushmen set up a snare before trying it themselves. First, the teams placed short sticks into the ground in a circle around an egg. Then, they dug a hole with a stick near the egg, buried the base of the stick in the ground, and bent the other end of the stick above the egg, tying it in place with string circling the sticks around it. When a guinea fowl tried to touch the eggs, it would trigger the trap causing the string to form a noose around its neck. Because they had a head start, Pam & Winnie edged out Chuck & Wynona. When Winnie acted like a guinea fowl and picked up the egg, the trap snapped up and grabbed her wrist.
CHANGE OF PLANS
With Pam & Winnie finishing the leg in second place and Chuck & Wynona in third, the four teams trying to make fire couldn’t even produce a whiff of smoke. After exerting a tremendous amount of energy and force (Mona even got a blister) rubbing the stick back and forth against the dry grass, teams began to consider switching tasks. Country singers Caroline & Jennifer bolted first prompting Youtube hosts Joey & Meghan to follow suit along with roller derby moms Mona & Beth. Only newlyweds Max & Katie refused to throw in the towel as they watched the other teams run off. Staying didn’t pay off as the newlyweds still couldn’t get a fire going. After a few minutes, Max & Katie relented and also switched tasks believing they could still beat the other teams.
When Max & Katie arrived at the Fowl task, Caroline & Jennifer and Joey & Meghan had already made progress while Mona & Beth lagged as they struggled to keep their snare from springing back up. Citing their fathers’ carpenter skills as motivation, Joey & Meghan successfully set their trap first among this group of teams to end their day in fourth place. Country singers Caroline & Jennifer finished in fifth place leaving only Mona & Beth and Max & Katie. Max & Katie appeared to pass Mona & Beth when the newlyweds tested their snare first, but when Max tried picking up the egg, the string didn’t snap around his wrist so they had to start over. This allowed the roller derby moms to pass the newlyweds and finish in sixth place. Stepping on the mat in last place, newlyweds Max & Katie looked defeated as they waited to be eliminated. Instead, Phil informed them that this was a non-elimination leg, lifting a huge weight from their shoulders. Max commented, “Today we made a stupid mistake. Tomorrow someone else makes the stupid mistake. We just can’t let it be us again.” Katie added, “This honeymoon is continuing in Africa.”
2206 ROUTE MARKERS
Roadblock: A Roadblock is a task that only one person can perform. The Kalahari Bushmen are the earliest inhabitants of Southern Africa having survived there for tens of thousands of years. This Roadblock gave teams the opportunity to learn a skill from the indigenous people when they went in search of a Bushmen’s best friend – a scorpion. First, they would be lead to a scorpion hole where they would be taught how to dig out one of the poisonous creatures. The Bushmen would then carefully place the scorpion in the jar and lead the teams to their next clue.
Performed Roadblock: Bates, Caroline, Joey, Max, Mona, Wynona, Pam
Detour: A Detour is a choice between two tasks. In this Detour, teams had the choice of Fire or Fowl. Fire required teams to walk with the Bushmen to a nearby campsite and figure out how to make fire using two sticks, zebra manure, and grass. Once they had a flame, they had to light the elder bushman’s pipe to receive their next clue. Fowl required teams to go hunting with the Bushmen by setting a trap to catch a guinea fowl. First, they had to figure out how to construct the clever device using sticks and strings. Then, acting like a guinea fowl, they had to trigger the trap to receive their next clue.
Fowl: Pam/Winnie, Chuck/Wynona, Mona/Beth, Caroline/Jennifer, Joey/Meghan, Max/Katie
Order of Finish: 1. Bates & Anthony 2. Pam & Winnie 3. Chuck & Wynona 4. Joey & Meghan 5. Caroline & Jennifer 6. Mona & Beth 7. Max & Katie