Spoilerish --S13 challenges/rewards
On Atiu I learned that one of the challenges for the participants was to spend the night in the burial caves. Participants were divided in groups, blindfolded and led into the caves, without food, without water, without light. Once in the caves, their blindfolds were removed. They could drink the water from the natural sweet water pools in the caves, but often there are poisonous crabs in these pools (I saw these crabs). The pinch or the bite of these crabs are not poisonous, but when you eat them, they are deadly. Some participants, I was told, screemed with fright (how entertaining!).
On another occasion, I was told, participants were flown to Atiu for a feast as a bonus. In a shack near a beach, they had a lavish meal. As they were starving, their eyes were bulging when they saw the food. They swallowed the food eagerly, the producers of the series making sure they drank a lot of alcohol. The purpose for that excessive drinking was to make the participants sick fast and good, for that would provide for some good footage (how civilized!)
The participants were carried to this shack on the shoulders of locals in carrying chairs. I visited the shack and saw the carrying chairs."
I am Chinagazer from Tripadvisor and I hope you don't mind me popping in.
I read this thread completely and I feel I can contribute a little bit more.
1) I am absolutely not familiar with Survivor: I have never watched it and I do not know how it works. The first thing I heard about Survivor is when I was planning my trip to Aitutaki. So I certainly am not familiar with the Survivor vocabulary. In relating what I heard on Atiu I used the words that were used by my interlocutors. Regarding the caves, the word used was "challenge". For the feast, the word "bonus" was used.
2) "Carrying chairs": the chairs I saw are not quite "litters" or "sedan chairs" as they are not covered or closed. The carriers of sedan chairs carry the poles on which the chair is fixed in their hands. On Atiu it was clearly stated that they were carried on the shoulders.
It is a typical image of the white colonist being carried in a chair on poles on the shoulders of black slaves.
Before the christianization of the Maoris, the chiefs of the tribes could not walk on the ground because of a taboo (tapu in Maori): the ground they walked upon would become taboo for anyone else to touch or walk upon. So to avoid that, the chiefs were carried on the shoulders of one of their subjects. I have seen gravures (prints) of scenes like this in old books and you can read descriptions of chiefs being carried on the shoulders in the diaries of both Captain James Cook and Captain William Bligh (available free of charge on line at the Gutenberg Project). Also in books like Alan Moorehead's "The Fatal Impact" you can read about this custom.
If you wonder how they were carried on the shoulders, it's like this: they sit with spread legs in the neck of their subject, with their legs hooked in front underneath the armpits of the one who carries them. (Like when you have a push fight in the water where one sits in the neck of a second person).
3) I only saw 3 carrying chairs. I double checked this with my daughter and she too remembers seeing three chairs only.
4) Correct about the type of plane, but Air Rarotonga only takes maximum 12 passengers on it.
5) I have been asked about the identity or description of the participants. I only have this information: I was told that one of the persons who were carried in the chairs to the shack was a "Japanese" girl and she was crying with emotion. Again, "Japanese" is the word that was used but it is probable that by "Japanese" my interlocutor meant that the girl had asiatic features, not that she actually IS Japanese.
Having read this thread I realize I should have asked more questions when I was on Atiu. Sorry.
Here are some pictures:
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