It's getting down to the nitty gritty here on the Amazing Race - there are only a few Teams left, and D... and I are excited to be one of them!
We cleaned up as best we could at the last Pit Stop - then spent another day in India resting and recuperating. After our mandatory 12-hour rest period, we were able to finally leave at 10:43 p.m. We ripped open our clue to find we had to fly 1,000 miles to Almaty, Kazakhstan and travel by taxi to the Alel Agro Chicken Factory.
Um....Kazak-what? Sounds Russian. OK, we're off.
Twenty-four hours later we landed in Almaty. Only three other Teams were on our flight with us - the rest caught later flights. We all rushed to the taxi area and got to that chicken factory as fast as we could. And damned if we didn't get there to find out it doesn't open until 7:30 a.m.! We spent the night camping out at the entrance, where, of course, the other Teams all caught up. Snap! To kill time D... and I told jokes about why the chicken crossed the road. We were cracking each other up. Everyone else? Notsomuch.
Finally they opened the gates and it was a mad dash for the clue box. D... tripped some people so we were able to get to it first. The clue was a Roadblock, a task that only one person can perform. Before we decided who would do the Roadblock, we also discovered the second of only two Fast Forwards on the race. For the chance to skip all other tasks and proceed to the Pit Stop, a Team had to travel by taxi to a restaurant where they would join in a traditional Kazakh feast. What they would find out at the restaurant was that the main ingredient in the meal was the fat from the rear end of a sheep. When both Team members finished their serving, they would win the Fast Forward.
D... and I are not stupid - we know not to attempt anything that has to do with food, and having to go to a restaurant was a good tip-off that this was NOT for us! Besides that, two other Teams took off to go for it. Since only one of them could win, that would mean the other would have to come back, so we were automatically ahead of them. We were going ahead with the Roadblock.
It was D...'s turn - she had to enter the marked chicken shack and search among 30,000 chickens (ew!) for one of only seven golden eggs. She was nervous - D... has this phobia about roosters. When she was 5 years old she lived in Corpus Christi on a horse ranch and farm; she went into the chicken pen one day, and the rooster jumped on her and started pecking her chest!!!! But these were chickens, not roosters, so she was OK.
And she did GREAT! It didn't take her long to find the golden egg, and we quickly received our next clue - search the grounds of the chicken factory for a giant crane truck, then use it to travel to Koktobe Arch at the foothills of the Tienshan Mountains. Then we would have to follow a marked path that would lead us to a Mongol warrior, where we had to wait for our next clue to arrive.
The marked path was very steep, but beautiful. When we reached the Mongol warriors, we were amazed to see a trained eagle leave its perch in the distance and fly over to us. It landed on a warrior’s arm with a clue attached to its foot. D... ducked - I think she thought it was going to land on her and peck her chest. She's definitely had enough birds for today.
The next clue was a Detour - a choice between two tasks, each with its pros and cons. In this Detour, Teams had to choose between Play Like Mad or Act Like Fools. In Play Like Mad, Teams had to travel by taxi to the Museum of Folk Musical Instruments where they would learn to play a simple Kazakh tune using two traditional instruments, the Dombra and the Shan Koby. When the instructor felt they learned the song well enough, he would send the Team to the park to play for tips where they would have to earn the equivalent of one and a half dollars for their next clue. In Act Like Fools, Teams had to travel by taxi to a puppet theater, find the wardrobe department, and put on a two-person cow costume. Then, dressed as a cow, they had to walk the streets of Almaty to a marked stall where they had to drink a glass of milk. After finishing the milk, they would find the name of the next destination printed on the bottom of the glass, Zelyoniy Bazaar. After traveling in costume to the bazaar, the Teams had to locate a butcher stall where they would receive their next clue.
We didn't even have to think about this one - D... and I are good at acting like fools! Remember this?
Oh, I could go on and on. Good times.
OK, so Act Like Fools it was.
There was some discussion over which of us would be the front of the cow and which would be the...um...rear. We did Rock, Paper, Scissors and I got to be the head. But that in no way means I think D... is a cow butt. Just sayin'. We had the Best. Time. Ever. walking around dressed up like a cow! We really played it up, mooing and making people laugh! I drank the milk up lickety split, and we headed off to the meat market (ew!). There, the butcher gave us our next clue - travel by foot to the next Pit Stop at Old Square!
Still dressed like two halves of a cow, we took off - and we came in SECOND PLACE!
Nick & Starr had won the Fast Forward and come in first for the fourth time in a row. Those dumb Frat Boys Andrew & Dan came in fourth, but then found out they had not read their clue correctly and had taken a taxi to the Pit Stop - they had to go all the way back to the meat market and come back to the Pit Stop on foot. They were so mad! But they managed to get back in time to retain fourth place - Terence & Sarah came in last, and were eliminated from the Race.
So here we are in Kazakhstan, waiting to see where the Race will take us next! I think D... is doing a great job with the pictures, don't you? We're having a blast. Tune in next week to see where we go next!
Where We've Been: