Next we needed to travel by taxi across town to the place known to locals as the Graveyard of Fallen Monuments. We were fortunate enough to find a taxi driver that spoke ENGLISH (hooray!), and he had a GPS unit! Things were looking up!
Arriving at the Graveyard of Fallen Monuments we encountered a Roadblock, a task that only one person can complete, with the question "Who's good at solving mysteries?" We decided I would do it, since we were headed into the last legs of the race and were concerned a Roadblock would come up with something scary in it that D... would need to do. Cuz she totally has to do the scary stuff because I'm a big chicken.
In this Roadblock, I had to scour the park filled with Soviet era monuments, counting the statues of Lenin and Stalin. To help correctly identify each statue, I was given the Cyrillic spelling. After joining the two tallies together to create a two-digit number, I had to head to an antique bookstore and tell the number to the shop owner, who would give me a book. If I got the number wrong, I had to wait ten minutes before making another attempt. Then, using the correct tally from the statues, I had to turn to that page in the book where I would find information that would lead me to my next destination, the apartment building of a famous Russian author, Mikhail Bulgakov. That is where D... would be waiting for me.
There were other Teams there searching, so we knew we were still in the race! I searched quickly but thoroughly, and double-checked my math - there were six Lenin and two Stalin figures.I jumped in a taxi and headed to the bookstore - should I tell the lady 26 or 62?? I decided on 62, and........it was right!!!! Woot!!! I rushed to the apartment and there was D..., waiting for me!
She had exciting news....Toni & Dallas had lost all their money and their passports when Dallas accidently left them in a taxi! With no money, we knew they wouldn't get far. We weren't out of it yet! The next clue directed us to Sokol’niky Park to find a woman with a Shetland pony. We love ponies! We were off!
We arrived at Sokol’niky Park at the same time as Toni & Dallas, who had taken the subway because they didn't have enough money for a taxi. Because the clue specified that they had to take a taxi, they had to go back and return in a cab. We had finally hit our Speed Bump. Snap! We had to perform with a group of traditional Russian dancers through one song. Once we had completed the dance to the instructor’s satisfaction, she would hand us our next clue.
Dude, dancing is my THING! I've grown up dancing! This should be a breeze! D... and I did awesome - and we looked cute, too!
Wow. These tasks are getting more complex!
This one was a no-brainer for us, too. D... has had lots of experience navigating subways on her various vacations, and she's quite good at it! Besides that, it was definitely the faster choice.
Have you ever seen such a beautiful subway station?
Thanks to D...'s expertise, we made it through the confusing maze of stops and transfers with ease. Arriving at VNDKh Park Station, we found our next clue directing us to travel on foot to the Pit Stop at VNDKh Park, built as a tribute to the achievements of the Socialist state. Stepping onto the mat, we learned from Phil that we were in SECOND PLACE, and had secured a place in the final leg of the race! We were so excited!!!
Nick & Starr had come in first for like the gazillionth time; they are definitely the Team to beat. Poor Toni & Dallas, who had to beg for money for the rest of the day after losing theirs in the taxi, came in last and were eliminated from the race. We were sad to see them go. I hope Dallas and Starr will stay in touch - they make a cute couple!
Can you believe we've made it all the way to the end?? This has been such an amazing experience for D... and me! The best part? We have stayed true friends throughout the whole race, never fighting once. We're cool like that.
Be sure to tune in next week for the big finale - will we win it all, or will we fall short? Wait and see!!
Where We've Been:
Leg 9 (Moscow, Russia)
Leg 4 (New Zealand)
Leg 3 (Bolivia)
Leg 2 (Brazil)
Leg 1 - We're off!