Amazing Race

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Learning Experiences

Jody and Shannon, currently in last place, are still on the bus, still hoping for the best. I'm all for hoping on this race, but hope generally works better in conjunction with actual racing.

Jet and Cord's boat docks at the island, and they run through a wooded path up to a lovely green hill to find a spectacular view and the clue box waiting for them. It's a Detour. "In the lake region," Phil narrates, "The Chilean people have a deep connection with the animals." Before we have time to wonder whether Phil actually just called this area the bestiality capital of the world, we see him standing on a shoreline, saying this Detour is a choice between "two creatures revered by the locals." The options are "Llama Adoration" and "Condor Consternation." For Llama Adoration, the teams go into a "field" (actually a normal-sized corral) of llamas and dress one up for a festival. Since "dressing" in this case involves draping a blanket over its back and looping a scarf around its neck, it's not as hard as, like, putting it in a tuxedo or something. But Phil warns they can be "sometimes stubborn and unruly." Standing next to a twitching specimen, Phil says they'll then get their next clue. For Condor Consternation, they'll have to "dress as birds," which in fact just means putting on a pair of big bird feet and then picking up a big, flimsy, condor-shaped kite with holes in the wings for each racer's body. And each condor kite is positioned atop a long, high dock over the lake, which by the way looks freezing cold. "Having turned themselves into a majestic condor," Phil continues with what sounds like a perfectly straight face, "they must then take flight and attempt to soar to this target, which contains their next clue." The "target" is a buoy floating in the water about fifty feet off the end of that dock. Majestic! Jet and Cord decode to go with the llama task, and get back in their boat, seeing two more approaching boats as they motor away and realizing that they might not have as much of a lead as they might have hoped.

Carol|Brandy and Joe|Heidi also do llama, Heidi saying she's already cold enough without going into the water. They meet Brent and Caite coming up the path, and the models declare that they want to "fly." Good luck with that. As Jet and Cord's boat docks again, they agree they'd better get a move-on. They run all the way up the wooded trail to the llama corral (150 meters, according to the sign), hearing a loud braying noise as they approach. One of them thinks that came from a burro, but then they come into sight of a local in a poncho blowing on a loud, circular horn. These cowboys are great with animal noises. There's also a whole musical group up there and a small crowd of locals parading around, until they climb the corral fence to watch the Cowboys try to wrangle the llamas. "None of them look like they want to be jacked with," Jet says. But then they spot a friendly, docile one, and quickly get him scarved and blanketed. "Llama Whisperer," Jet declares himself. They're still in first place as they open their Route Info clue sending them to Onces Bellavista Farm for their next clue. As they get back in their car, they wonder if anyone knows who's in the lead. Of course they don't, and how would they have guessed?

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Amazing Race

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