Leg 10 - Muscat, Oman
Fans have wondered about my notes, and asked me about my thoughts on Leg 10, so here it is.
The episode is pretty self-explanatory. It was a VERY. LONG. LEG. We went to Baja Caves, and I was bummed we didn't get to go inside! It looked beautiful. The train ride back to Pune was a fun experience - it was everything that I've seen on TV. It was packed and crowded, but it was definitely one for the memories! We chatted with the locals on the trains, and they were very friendly!
Anyway, India was a spectacular leg, and I wanna go back... maybe to Goa this time.
Oman was beautiful... driving all over Oman allowed us to see palaces, mountainous terrains, middle-eastern architecture and cultures... It was fantastic. I had to drive cos Mr. Vince Chung wasn't too good at manual cars... Driving in the extreme heat was starting to play tricks on my mind. Like Tania, I was hallucinating so much... seeing things on the road that weren't there. My eyes couldn't open, and I was falling asleep while driving back and forth (esp after counting limes and driving towards Wadi Tanuf - zipline). So, I had to put on my contact lenses, and use Vince's sunglasses (I forgot to bring mine) to shield my eyes from the intense sunlight.
The craziest thing happened - all 4 teams got lost. I will let my buddy explain how we got lost, but suffice to say, he didn't wanna listen to me. I was like, "We should turn here!!", and he was like "it's okay, all roads lead to Wadi Tanuf". Er. WE MISSED THE TURNING, DUDE. lol
But anyway, everyone got lost AT THE SAME PLACE, and all caught up, resulting in an equilizer. so we decided to ALL cooperate to find the place, which we eventually did.
Now... the Tyrolean Traverse... LOL!
Of course, no one had any idea what the heck this was. If they said zipline, I would've known. Why did I do this challenge? Simple - Vince had done 4 RBs, and I had only done 3. As mentioned on TV, each person can only do 5 RBs maximum, so if Vince did this RB, then I definitely had to do the last RB assuming we made it to Final 3. So, it was purely strategy that led me to do this RB. I wanted to even it up, so that going into final leg, we can have the luxury of choosing which team member to do the final RB. (Our RB strategy is simple - physical task? Vince. Mental, non-physical or patience required? Me.)
Anyway, so it was me - the person who had been driving all over Muscat since the night before, morning and now afternoon. No food, lack of sleep, tired... my body just gave up. I could actually do it right until the end, when the line sagged. I tried pulling myself up, which I could do initially, but i couldn't lock my GRIP on the cable... my gloves did not have any kind of traction, so I kept sliding down. I lost momentum while getting caught in the extra safety cables. Once gravity took over, and without ZERO momentum, the task completely required upper body strength, and a good grip of the cable to yank yourself up. Well, this is one disadvantage of going first, sometimes! Other teams know what pitfalls to avoid!
So, yeah. With a stitch in my side, and body cramping, I knew I couldn't complete the challenge. The mind was willing, but the flesh was spent. I'd already hung on the ropes for quite a long time... perhaps 30 mins? Rested, then tried again. Slid down. Rested, tried again... slid down... it was frustrating!
I was definitely very bummed and disappointed. I felt I let my team member down, big-time. I was crushed, and I could see Vince's disappointment too at the very real possibility of getting eliminated because of my inability to complete the task. However, Vince being the great guy that he is, as competitive as he is, he didn't want me to get down on myself, and assured me that I didn't let him down. And for the first time during the race, I saw Vince softening and his eyes watering, a little. He's gonna kill me for writing this, but hell, he's human too. We were BOTH very VERY bummed.
The rest of the episode, as they say, is history. We got into Final 3... A humbling experience indeed.... but poor AD & Fuzzie as well. I mean, I think ALL teams were tired at this point, and surviving on pure adrenaline. We *have* been racing non-stop for weeks.
We now have a 4-hour penalty, meaning, we'll be released 4 hours later than the other teams. That's a huge deficit to make up for, and it definitely was tough to shake it off mentally and stay focussed for Leg 11...
We've come so far. We've done many many amazing things, seen many awesome sights. We've laughed and cried. What will happen in the Final Leg? All I can is, win or lose... we've come a long way. =)