Amazing Race

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Learning Experiences

Back in Santiago, the 7:45 bus is just now boarding Steve|Allie, Michael|Louie, Monique|Shawne, and Dan|Jordan, all of whom are looking forward to a nice, relaxing bus ride after a long day in the station. It's worth mentioning that this at least looks like a pretty comfortable coach, as buses go.

Down in Temuco, the Think Tank is learning from the ticket agent that there are no more buses tonight -- to anywhere. So now what? Share a 200-mile taxi ride and hope the resulting penalty doesn't cost them more time than they gain? Start walking? Attempt astral projection? Because the clock is ticking -- it's 8:30, and now even Jody and Shannon are leaving Santiago. The Think Tank enters the commercial break looking well and truly stranded, and possibly already trying to figure out how they're going to beat each other to the second-to-last spot on the mat. Or else I'm giving them too much credit for thinking ahead.

But then, paradoxically, if these teams were given to sitting back and accepting their fate, they wouldn't be in this situation in the first place. So after the ads, they go to another bus company's window, and learn that they have a bus leaving Temuco at 1:00 AM, so it's not as bad as it seems. "The Cowboys are the most magical people ever," Brent says. Lets all pause for a moment to imagine Jet and Cord flitting around on butterfly wings and waving sparkly wands.

It's not clear what time it is when Jet and Cord arrive in Puerto Varas, but it's full dark and they're obviously hours ahead of everyone else. Jet's got a plastic condom stretched over his cowboy hat against the drizzle as they find the parked cars waiting for them and climb in. Isn't one of the purposes of a hat to protect one against the rain? And therefore doesn't it kind of defeat the purpose when one has to protect one's hat against the rain as well?

The Think Tank boards their transfer to Puerto Varas at 1:00 AM, expecting to get there before 7:00 in the morning, which should still keep them at or near the head of the rest of the pack. "Just keeping hope alive," Jeff says. Hope is like, "Who, me? I'm ready to run a marathon, suckas."

Jet and Cord have their eyes peeled for Juan Valdez and his burro (wrong South American country again, caballeros), but first they spot the sign for the Petrohué Hotel -- complete with an Amazing Flag pasted on it. They park their car in the lot, and then find the trail with a rope stretched across it, and a sign on the rope reading, in English, "Marked path opens at 7:30 AM." So they can't do much with their six-hour-or-so lead other than camp out in their car for the rest of the night. In the post-leg interview, Jet takes amused exception to Cord's use of the word "snuggle." He wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong idea.

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Amazing Race

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