Author Topic: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)  (Read 17448 times)

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Offline georgiapeach

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2008, 02:05:49 PM »
Thanks to snap-on we can finally see the Sony ad!!  I love it! :hearts:

:ty3: snap-on!!
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 03:11:32 PM by georgiapeach »
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Offline snap-on

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2008, 07:51:37 AM »
Episode 7

Woah Nelly that was action packed!

Goldfish Market

The first thing we did when we got our clue was to give Tania and Ida money for the next leg.  This was a tradition that we knew of from the previous Races…  We opened the clue and went to the Goldfish Market in Mong Kok to pick up 2 goldfish each.
They were very interesting, oddly shaped and rather large goldfish… not the ones you typically think of.  We had then returned back to Hong Kong side and went to the fish store in Sheung Wan.  The store was not open yet so we decided to rest and go to a nearby hotel for some shut-eye.  In the morning we went to the fish store and all the teams except Tania and Ida were there... We queued up first in line and exchanged our fish for the clue. 

Travel to Macau

Our clue asked us to travel to Macau by ferry.  I knew we were in Sheung Wan and so the Ferry Terminal was close by… but I wasn’t’ exactly which would be faster… We initially flagged a taxi down and I think the other teams saw us… but  we decided to run to the terminal when I realized that we were only a few blocks away.  We  were able to get onto the next ferry to Macau within 15 mins of leaving the fish store.  At Macau we were we had to take a pedicab to Senado Square to get our next clue.  We looked for a “stronger” driver because we knew that we would be getting him to go as fast as he could.  The clue box was easily visible as it was in the middle of the square. The clue directed us to Macau Tower and there was a caution that there was a “Yield” ahead. We quickly grabbed a taxi and headed over to the  Tower.  In the taxi we contemplated how the yield would affect the game.

Commentary ---

Now apparently the next few events that happened have caused quite a stir with the people watching when it was shown on TV…. And I’ll add my thoughts to each of them

On screen we were shown to have said “ We would yield our direct competitors and they shall remain nameless…. And it’s not advantageous to yield them at this point in time and show our hand completely…” I will tell you all right now that there were more than one teams who we thought were direct competitors for whatever reason.  Yes we did get along with everybody but it was a RACE… now… That clip that was shown was purposely used to set up a clip for later… we definitely had a lot of thoughts that were not shown about different scenarios with regards to the yield… but regardless our main objective when using a Yield would be to create distance between us and another team to either allow us to “win that leg” or not be eliminated…. knowing that we had yet to do a task this leg and that we had to go to Macau tower  as well as knowing that Tania and Ida would be very far behind us… we decided to NOT use the Yield on ANYONE…. ( I thought we would be bungee jumping and yielding somebody would not make a real difference since it was early in this leg and if it was bungee jumping --- it could be done only one at a time anyway… there would be a lot of time wasted in queuing up in line for the next person and the yield wouldn’t do much). 

Now the next clip regarding the yield showed Geoff and Tish saying “ I just hope that strategy wise that the Hong Kong boys have yielded someone… hopefully not US…. cause they would think that WE were far behind… “ (That in itself says that they were not sure what we were planning to do.. including possibly yielding them)

When we opened the clue we  realized that it probably wasn’t’ bungee jumping since it read “Who wants to climb the tower of success”  I decided to do it since I thought that it would probably a physically demanding task.  I had to climb the tower’s mast  … all the way to the TOP to receive the next clue.  Apparently the tower is the 10th tallest tower in the world….I got geared up and ready to go.  It really was a physically demanding task as the climb was up multiple ladders inside and then outside the tower.  It just seemed to be never ending!  The outside part of the climb was quite scary since you’re extremely high up on the mast and if I remember correctly there is just one safety clip between our harness and the ladder.

As well the person giving me the clue was shaking the mast so that it would move!!!  FREAKY!!!!   Now while I was climbing there was drama brewing down in the waiting area….

Geoff and Tish had apparently yielded Henry and Bernie… then….
When Tish told Sam … Sam gave her a “high five” and said “that’s cool”… Sam has reflected on this action in his blog already …see part of it below:


Was I really happy to see Bernie & Henry being yielded? No. My reaction was over-done. When Geoff said that they had yielded a team, I had fully expected them to yield Henry & Bernie (which I believe wasn't personal; it was a strategic move. Bernie & Henry ARE really a very strong team; why yield a physically weaker team? hopefully, they will really see that it's a compliment). So when Tisha revealed that it was really Bernie & Henry who were yielded, I was so excited at my right prediction that I high-fived Tisha. I wasn't so much excited at the fact that Bernie & Henry got yielded, but more excited at my correct prediction. And so upon hindsight, appearing happy was probably stupid & I don't EVEN remember ever doing that until i saw it on TV - because it can be interpreted in wrong ways.


The next task we needed to paddle a dragon boat around a buoy to receive our next clue. I am really competitive and just want to get things done.  I was extremely tired from climbing the mast and then we had to paddle a dragon boat with only two people  around a buoy.  I was irritated because you must work as a team and paddle together with the oars entering the water at the same time… that’s why there is a drummer so that you could keep the same pace and be efficient but Sam wasn’t keeping with the beat.  I have paddled dragon boat before so I got into that mindset and did what we used to do by shouting and chanting together and then to add energizing words like “Pump It Up !!!” … Sam thought I was getting down on him so he shouted back at me… with some words that got BLEEPED hahaha!  I’m not the only one now with the BLEEPED WORDS HAHA!!  He realized that he was wrong later ...haha..
When we finally returned to the dock we got our next clue.


We had to go to the Casino to play Blackjack and win 9 hands to spell the word COMPLETED.   I thought that the casino would be easier to find than the Pagoda and that when leaving we would be able to get a taxi easily too…  As well, winning 9 hands of Blackjack is quite easy… ( I have played before and I know the strategies to win… PLUS I’ve watched SWINGERS ----- "always double down on 11  !!! " HAHA )  When we got there we had to put on “Formal” wear before starting.   It was quite easy to play and it was a nice change to dry off inside.  We also thought that it would be funny to change the costumes and names around on Henry and Bernie

( the only reason that we did this was because we were friends with them not because we didn't like them ...and I knew that they would appreciate the JOKE and think that it was funny… AND THEY DID …… YOU CAN SEE HENRY AND HEAR BERNIE LAUGHING.....We would have done that to GEOFF AND TISH too but we knew that they went to do the lion dance.)

Chinese Zodiac and Pit-Stop

We had to travel to the Ah Mah cultural centre Colane island in Macau to find our next clue.  It was POURING RAIN and there were NO TAXIS... and we even flagged some down that declined our business.  When we go there we realized that it was the pit-stop but before entering it we had complete the CHINESE ZODIAC first.  Neither of us memorized the Zodiac but we had enough clues and also enough knowledge of our friends and family’s Zodiac characters that we were able to do it in two tries.  We only got mixed up with one of the animals actually.

2nd place ….I’m content with our placing but that TV and PS3 sure looked SWEET !!!! DAMN… so close!!!….watch to see what happens next will be intense, Thursday night on AXN!


Offline snap-on

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2008, 02:30:22 PM »
Cochin, India

An emotional episode, on many levels. Receiving a letter from home was one. It was fantastic getting a surprise letter from home cos we've been racing for a while, and the encouragement was what I needed to push myself even further. The one line my parents wrote which meant the most to me was "Winning this Race is not important; gaining the experience therefrom is." When I read this, I was very comforted. It was very true. The race experience has been nothing short of fantastic, and it reminded me to continue savouring it. In fact, when we in a cab racing to the pitstop, it was this very phrase that made me very calm. I told Vince (which wasn't shown on TV) that if we got eliminated in Cochin, I'd be very satisfied. To be a part of the best reality TV show in the world has been a miracle in itself.

Friends and family have asked me about the missed connecting flight to Cochin, and how we did not get the same flight as AD/Fuzzie & Ida/Tania. Suffice to say, Vince & I (including Bernie & Henry) have searched the entire HK airport for the best possible & AVAILABLE flights, and together concluded that the one we had was the best one. In fact, Vince and I were at the airport so long searching for flights that two teams (AD/Fuzzie & Bernie/Henry) caught up.

So yes, together, Bernie & Henry and us willingly decided to work together, pool our knowledge on what flights were left open to us. There was no hoodwinking, no ploy to get anyone eliminated. We most definitely weren't being sneaky or mean or evil to Bernie & Henry. I mean, we (including Bernie/Henry) had NO idea that we would miss that important connection from Mumbai to Cochin. It was very simply the BEST AVAILABLE flight (HK-SIN-MUMBAI-COCHIN) at that point, and in fact, we were very glad to get those flights. I am not permitted to comment how AD/Fuzzie & Ida/Tania got that HK-MUMBAI-COCHIN flight when we ourselves couldn't. So, it was very simply a case of freakin' BAD LUCK that we were unable to catch the connecting flight. Case closed.

Hence, this ep was also very emotional for me because we had to race against Bernie & Henry to the pitstop, esp since it said specifically that the last team WILL BE eliminated. Flying together to India gave us that precious chance to bond more just the two teams alone, because we were never really bunched together for a significant amount of time (apart from sleeping outside the Hue airport, but that was with a few other teams!!).

It was very hard for me. While I was glad we weren't eliminated, I was crushed that they would be eliminated. It wasn't a joyous time for us, and we didn't celebrate our close shave. We respect this team very deeply, and like this team very much, and frankly, they were indeed one of the strongest competitors, if not *the* strongest competitors, and this is very much a compliment to them.

I end by saying that this seaon's Race indeed does take its physical, emotional and mental toll. I was truly so glad to have my parent's letter with me, to last till whichever position we end up in, in the Race, and when I'm back home in HK.

PS - Kudos to the superb hair-stylist extraordinaire... Tania. =)

(Sam's diary)

Offline snap-on

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2008, 02:32:38 PM »
Episode 8

That was close! 

Go to the Ruins of St. Paul

We started early in the morning at the Temple and had to go to the Ruins to get the next clue which directed us to go back to the Macau Tower.  We were lucky that some kids were touring around on scooters and happened to be hanging around at the temple area.  We used their phones to call a taxi to come get us.

Macau Tower

Of course … I knew that the next task would require someone to bungee… what other challenge would there be to do?  We arrived second and it was an “hours of operation” in effect so we just stayed there and waited it out.  The four teams all bunched together to wait.  When the doors opened it was a Roadblock.  To even out the Roadblocks Sam decided to do the bungee jump.  I really wanted to do it actually but for strategy we needed to even it out.  The teams members remaining stayed at the bottom of the tower to wait and we all cheered the other competitors together!  When we got the clue it told us to go back to Hong Kong by ferry and then to go to the MASkargo holding centre.  Little did we know that Geoff and Tish actually took the helicopter ( which is much faster). 


When we got to the cargo holding centre there were MILLIONS of different sized boxes with names that were very similar to all the team members.  We had to be very patient but work quickly and efficiently.  When watching it on TV… Sam actually missed the box with our names on it… haha!!  He’s supposed to be the patient, calm and analytical one too!  I found the box on our second sweep!  When we opened the box we had to read the letters out loud to the camera before receiving our next clue.  My letter was from a family friend in Hong Kong and Sam’s was from his parents.  I tried to hold back my emotions but Sam like most of the teams was overcome with emotion.  We had been racing for so long and it was great to hear from someone from home.  It did hit me though in the taxi ride to the airport and I was a little “spaced”(as seen when exiting the taxi).

Cochin India

We had to travel to Cochin India so when we got to the airport in Hong Kong we we confident that we knew what we were doing.  After all it was our home turf and we were 2nd and in front of the other teams.  We asked multiple desks and figured out every possible way to get to Cochin. 

Now again the next few events made a difference in the final outcome of this leg. 

We had found a flight to MUMBAI on AIR INDIA but were unable to purchase tickets because of a some restrictions…..!!!! 

We pleaded with the counter and looked for loopholes but we were unsuccessful.  ( now … this is the SAME flight that AD &FUZZIE and IDA&TANIA eventually took to Mumbai to transfer to Cochin.. to this day I HAVE NO IDEA how they were able to secure this WHEN both Bernie and Henry and our team were UNABLE TO PERSUADE them…)  We shared our info with all the other teams that were there at the airport and told them what our plan were.  Ida and Tania weren’t even at the airport at this time, it was just AD FUZZIE and BERNIE HENRY…

instead of waiting for the next bookable FLIGHT…

The next best thing to do was to fly to Singapore from Hong Kong on an earlier flight to catch a flight to Mumbai and then transfer in MUMBAI to the AIR INDIA flight to COCHIN ( the same COCHIN flight that AD &FUZZIE and IDA&TANIA eventually took). 

Three teams were all clumped together at the same ticket counters and internet terminals After doing their own research and thinking about the situation Bernie and Henry decided that this was best for their team too since (they had a choice to stick with AD and FUZZIE whom did not buy any tickets to anywhere yet at this point ) there should have been no problem getting to Cochin because we had more than 2 hours to do this when arriving in MUMBAI… but…

We had actually arrived in Mumbai ahead of AD & FUZZIE and IDA & TANIA) but because we had not taken an Air India flight into Mumbai we had to do customs and check out and then check back in… ( or something like that) … For some reason this process took an excess of 2 HOURS… both of our teams were quite discouraged and because this should not have happened.  IT SHOULD NEVER TAKE THIS LONG….

Because of this … we had to think on our feet and the next best thing to do was to travel to the domestic terminal and take a flight on a domestic carrier to Cochin… but again… we had to wait and hoped that the hours of operations were going to slow the other teams down.

When arriving to Cochin in the morning both of our teams knew that this would probably be it … either us or them … but we both help each other to the Temple to get the next clue. 


When arriving at the Temple we got our blessing and then our next clue.  It required us to travel quite a distance to wash an elephant. 

Washing the Elephant

By this time we knew that we were the last two teams because there were only two clues left in the box in front of the temple.  This is when you run on adrenaline… haha and you are at the mercy of your transportation.  THE KEY… IS NOT TO GET LOST… which in a foreign land is not easy to do…

After about an hour and a half drive we arrived at our elephant washing destination and picked the elephant that was closest to the water.  We quickly washed the elephant and made sure to handle it with respect and care…


After reading the clues I thought that carrying fish would be the better choice.  We were wired and I don’t think that concentrating on a delicate task would be good … as well the location of the FISH task seemed to be more well known so FISH it was.
When we got there we saw the GIANT fish that we had to TRANSPORT… MAN THEY WERE HUGE!!  This was a RACE dammit so I decided to power through and take 2 at a time… the fish were slippery, frozen, smelly and awkwardly balanced.  The first trip was torturous because we had NO idea how far and where the restaurant was.  We figured that someone there would know and that they would help us … luckily some dude showed us the way.  It was quite a long trek… maybe 15 minutes pf walking with the fish over my shoulders and then  having to walk upstairs to drop it off … grrr. I was ANGRY hahaha…  the second trip was much better because we knew how far we had to walk and could pace ourselves.

Bolgatty Palace

After delivering the 6 fish we finally got the Pit Stop clue.  We ran to our taxi who kindly stayed for us and got on our way… all we could do is pray that he knew where to go and that there would be no traffic.  It was the longest taxi ride since we had no idea where Henry and Bernie were…maybe we figured that they had done the Fill task but were not sure if they were ahead or if we would be able to beat them in a footrace.  In the taxi we both agreed that we had done the best that we could and that we would be content with the results no matter what they were when we arrived at the mat!  When we got near to the area… another car had come out of nowhere and plugged up the single lane way… we honked and honked but they wouldn’t leave so we decided to pay the taxi driver and run to the pit-stop he said it was about 5 minutes away … MORE like 15 minutes away and the the actual pit stop was deep into the palace grounds near the water…

I was exhausted from carrying the fish, and running from the taxi , searching for the pit stop while carrying my backpack… we jumped onto the mat and waited for Alan’s response….

You are team number….. FOUR….!!!

We actually had mixed feelings because we knew that we had scraped by and avoided elimination but that meant having to say good-bye to Henry and Bernie who are really cool and funny.  The Race definitely became more serious at that point since there were only four teams left.



Offline snap-on

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2008, 01:56:59 AM »
Pune, India

The race heats up, and with only 4 teams left, the pressure is rising. I think this ep is pretty much self-explanatory. So just a few quick thoughts:

Why did we initially think of U-Turning Ida & Tania, and not Geoff & Tish? Well, for us, as mentioned earlier, we would only use a Yield or U-turn if it is strategically advantageous to us. For instance, if we were neck-&-neck with another team and we wanted to add distance. At the previous Yield in Macau, we knew we were ahead of everyone, so we didn't want to use it. At Pune, we noticed that we finally caught up to Ida & Tania because we saw them pushing their carts past our sugar-cane machine. So we knew that we were in neck & neck position with Ida & Tania, more so than the other teams. But we didn't know if they were in FRONT or BEHIND us!! It'd been really stupid to U-Turn someone ahead of us, right?! lol

So, we ended up not U-Turning anyone, and therefore when Allan said we were Team no. 1, that was genuine surprise and relief!! cos it'd been a long leg, and we had expected Ida & Tania to be first.

The final 4 teams are all strong, and not to be underestimated. With Lady Luck playing such a huge factor in the race, as you can see how teams go from last to first, or first to last, nothing is really clear-cut anymore. We just needed to race with a clear head, and make the right decisions at detours.

Next week will be a tough leg, as seen in the preview! I'm gonna be cringing!!! hahahaha!

(Sam's fb)

Offline snap-on

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2008, 05:45:58 AM »
Episode 9 We're back on top!

We’re back on top!

Go to Pune India and Cricket Stadium

We got into our taxi and headed back to the airport to take a flight to Mumbai.  On the plane I asked a flight attendant what the best way to get to Pune was and she said that we should get a pre-paid taxi because it would be ensure that we get there and at a fair price.  When we got to Pune we had to look for a stadium to get our next clue.  Geoff and Tish were ahead of us and we saw that their taxi stopped so we stopped ours  Geoff had saw the flag and so we followed them and left our taxi … however… it was the wrong place.
It was not the stadium but the next challenge location.  We had to flag down an auto rickshaw to bring us to the stadium.  That was quite a challenge because not everyone could speak English but we were finally were able to find one.


When we finally got to the stadium we had to put on all the cricket gear and hit a cricket ball to the wall.  I have never played cricket but I do play baseball and softball so I just used the same swing.
On the first pitch I swung and missed but I was able to get a feel of the speed and angle the ball was coming at   … so on the second pitch I adjusted my swing and hit the ball… it passed through all the fielders and hit the boards!

Nokia GPS

We next had to use the GPS navigation system on a Nokia phone to bring us to the next challenge … it was really fun kind of like playing a video game…. Haha … we overshot our turns a few times and even directed our driver to turn into a pedestrian walkway to get back on course…


When we got to the destination I decided to do the roadblock… it was a good thing too because it was another searching task and I’m taller and had a better view of the situation hahah.... it was quite confusing because I had to search for the CORRECT pheta but the guys wearing them were all moving around,,,, !!!  my system was to start on one side and move up and down the coloumns making sure that I stopped everyone as I swept through…after many many incorrect phetas I eventually found the CORRECT pheta in the middle of the field….

Tell Us a Joke

We next had to go to the Sony store and use the HD handycam to record someone telling us joke in English that a panel would  later judge to determine if it was funny or not.
We ran out of the store ready to rock and roll and asked numerous people to tell us jokes but most didn’t speak English… we luckily found a couple on a scooter who were willing to tell us a joke… and luckily when we played it on the BRAVIA TV the panel gave it the THUMBS UP …

Why did the one handed man cross the street?..... To go to the second hand shop! …. HAR HAR HAR…

Push or Crush

We decided CRUSH and sell juice because we thought that it would be fun haha…. we had to make 200 rupees in sales so I asked our driver how much sugarcane juice usually goes for and he told us 5 rupees so that meant selling 40 cups… When we got to the destination we realized that it was an OLD SCHOOL sugarcane juice maker haha… I decided to be the one turning the machine… and Sam would feed the sugarcane into it … wasn’t caught on camera but while turning the machine I knocked Sam in the head a few times with the lever haha… we wanted to get out of the area ASAP because we knew that the other teams were on the way and we didn’t want to share the crowd with them when we were selling our juice… while we were making the juice we saw Tania and Ida pushing a cart full of pots…. We thought that they would have chosen to juice since pushing the cart seemed really exhausting … eventually were able to sell 40 cups and were off to find the next clue 

U TURN and Pit Stop

When we opened the clue we realized that we there was a U TURN ahead so we wanted to get there before anyone could U TURN us… When we got to the U TURN station we decided not to use it because we were confident that we were substantially ahead and not in danger of being last but we thought that Tania and Ida might be ahead of us so we were not in contention to become first… and since you can only use a YIELD and U TURN once … we thought that it wouldn’t be a good time to use it…  (you never know …we might need to use it later)

After the U TURN station we opened our clue and it told us the head for the PIT-STOP we got back into our auto rickshaw and headed for the Gokhale Institute.  When we jumped onto the mat we were shocked when Alan said to us …

AWESOME !!!  plus we got COOL NOKIA PHONES TOO for coming in first for that leg….

And … yes I CHOOSE D... all of the above… because in this RACE anything can happen
TEAM HK still in the game…


Offline snap-on

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2008, 07:33:07 AM »
And … yes I CHOOSE D... all of the above… because in this RACE anything can happen

Does anyone know what he mean CHOOSE D...  :duno:  :groan:

Offline apskip

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2008, 08:29:59 AM »
Sure, on multiple choice tests testers sometimes use this range of answers:

A. answer #1
B. answer #2
C. answer #3
D. All of the above

So Vince chose "All of the Above". That's only a good choce if it applies.

Offline snap-on

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2008, 03:29:15 AM »
:ty apskip !

Offline Alvin06

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #34 on: November 13, 2008, 05:04:29 PM »
Did Sam say "Babe, I can't..." during the roadblock or was this a murmur which sounded as such?

Offline nokmdk

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2008, 02:20:49 AM »
LOL! I Heard the same thing :)

Offline Alvin06

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2008, 07:38:28 PM »
I heard the same thing too!

Offline snap-on

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #37 on: November 17, 2008, 11:18:56 AM »
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. =)


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Offline snap-on

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #38 on: November 19, 2008, 07:30:36 AM »

4 hours back but still in the RACE…

Baja Caves

We had to travel to Baja caves, which was 60km away.  When we got there it there was an hour of operations so we decided to go to rest at a motel nearby.  In the morning all the teams bunched early at the hours of operation and we hiked up the steep steps to get our clue.

Travel to Pune by train

We then had to take a train to Pune and then look for a statue at the station and take note of the information stated on it.  The train was packed to the brim with people.  I was lucky to get a seat for the 1 hour journey.  When we got to the station we followed Geoff because he had talked to a local who was going to bring us to the statue but our guide brought us to a statue that was 10 minutes away. We figured that it was the wrong statue because it wasn’t even near the train station so we had to double back.  When we got station we saw a statue and it was of Gandhi.  We copied all the info down and head to the Standard Charter bank to look for the next clue.


When we got to the bank the clue asked us to key into the designated bank machine the birthday year of Gandhi.  That information wasn’t on the statue but luckily Sam was talking to the taxi driver about stuff and Gandhi’s birthday came up during the conversation.  We keyed in 1869 and received our next clue.

Muscat Oman

We next had to travel to Muscat Oman.  We went to a travel agent to book our flights out of Pune.  While waiting for our flights we bought some long sleeved shirts because we knew that the sun would be intense…and we were not properly prepared for the desert.
All the teams took the same flights which transferred in Mumbai to Oman.

Al Alam Palace

When we got to the Oman we had to search the airport for a designated jeep.  From there, our clue asked us to drive to Al Alam Palace to search for the next clue.  We hired a taxi driver to lead us to the right place.  The funny thing was that he couldn’t understand that we were racing and he would stop at all these tourists sites … even on the shoulder of the highway to show us his city.  He told us to take pictures and was being basically a tour guide.  What nice guy but … we were RACING haha… We got to the palace but had difficulty finding the clue box… it was hidden obscurely in the corner and we drove everywhere in the complex looking for it. 

Nizwa Fort

We next had drive to Nizwa Fort to search for our next clue.  I asked our taxi guide to show us the way to the fort and but he wanted to park his car and then ride with us there.  We told him that he couldn’t come with us because we were in a race and we couldn’t bring him back to his car… so he reluctantly go back in his car. 
Well .. the reason that he didn’t want to go was because the fort is actually outside of Muscat…. 140 km away.  We had to drive through the night and we had been up quite along time since when we started in Pune the night before.  I had to stay awake in case Sam fell asleep at the wheel. 
We finally got to the fort and it was an hours of operations…. GREAT …all the teams bunching together again! 
We decided to rest in jeep for a few hours because we were all dead tired.  The other teams also did the same.  When the fort opened we raced in and started searching the grounds for the clue box… I thought that we should go right to the top and work down.  It was a maze inside and when we got to the courtyard I spotted the clue box and ran up to get the envelope.  We raced back down to see open it because we didn’t want the other teams to see where the box was.  We thought we had it but when we opened it up the clue was a decoy … and when I looked around … there were multiple boxes… GRRR… that meant that we had to run up the different steps just to check each one to see if it help the real clues…. 
I think that on the third try we were able to find the correct clue and it directed us to drive back to Muscat and look for Mutra Souque.

Mutra Souque- Carpet or Count it

By this time I had read the map and figured out where all the places where ,,, we were driving BACK to the city where we were the day before… out taxi guide from the other day actually tried to park his car in that area.  SO… we then started to drive off but when we left Sam wanted to make sure that we went to the right we split the fare for a  taxi guide  with Geoff and Tish.  When we got to the square I spotted the box on top of the steps and we all ran to get the clue.  It was Detour! CARPET OR COUNT IT…   I thought that it would be easier to count limes because at least it’s not a luck based challenge … it would require concentration but it wasn’t a searching task.  When we got to the market we saw Ida and Tania counting already… I’m not sure how long they had been there but they did leave the fort slightly before us.  I don’t remember exactly our formula for counting but I think each took 10 limes out of the sack and put them into the basket and at each transfer we would tally on a paper as “1” so that at the end, all we would need to would be to multiply our tally total by 10…
This was a good strategy and we actually had the right number 1601 on one of the first few counts ... but Sam thought that we must have made a mistake with the extra “1” so we gave the answer as 1600…. WRONG… that meant that we had to go back and count the limes ALL OVER AGAIN… we couldn’t just stand there and keep guessing around that number. 
We again had a wrong number the second round through and after a few more times we got 1601 again so we submitted that to the judge and we got our clue. 

Wadi Tanuf

Are clue asked us to drive back to the opposite direction taking the same highway towards the fort.  Argh … back again on another long drive… 2 ½ hours away.
Periodically we would take stop to ask locals to tell us where to go… and EVERYONE told us the same route… so we listened to them… and we got LOST… Most people refer to the area of WADI TANUF as one side of the mountain range … but we had to actually be on the other side of the range… We were driving around EVERYWHERE in that area… even going into places that we not meant to be driven on …we went into an areaw where there were WILD GOATS and a STREAM … it was NOT A ROAD haha…

We during our search we saw Ida and Tania and shared our information with them… we kind of worked together for a bit but then they decided to take off on there own… so we continued to drive and search… We then went towards the city area close by and saw Geoff and Tish. 
They had been searching EVERYWHERE too… we decided to stay together until we could find the right area…  while asking for directions at a petrol station we bumped into Fuzzie and AD… so all of us searched together … we finally got to the right entrance to the area and Tania and Ida came right up behind us.
So all four teams drove along the cliffs towards the right destination…the scenery was beautiful but it was a little scary because it was basically a very narrow road without barriers … it would be very easy to drive off especially since Sam was driving  ( he was more experience at driving standard but being from Singapore and now living in Hong Kong he is used to driving on the right side of the car not the left… and he would often veer to the shoulder when driving.. YIKES… !)

Roadblock Tyrolean Traverse

We were first to get the clue and when we opened it was a Roadblock.  After reading the clue we thought that it was something that had to do with heights but not strength and since I had done four roadblocks Sam should do this one to even up.  Little did we know that this was going to backfire on us.  The task was to travel across a canyon on a zip line to retrieve the and to then return to the other side to open it. 

The task seemed simple enough but it was quite physically demanding.  I knew that we were in trouble when Sam was slowing down and was unable to move when he was almost at the end. 
The angle was quite steep and he had no more strength to pull himself up.  All I could do was encourage him by telling him not to give up… but I was really frustrated sort of like a coach on the sideline watching his team lose. 
Ida and Geoff finished already and after attempting to get back on his own for almost half and hour I finally agreed with him that it was not possible and we took the four hour penalty as a consequence… I think that this was the first time that I was really emotional .. I can only describe it as feeling like being on the losing end of the SuperBowl  … you’ve come so far but yet… you didn’t win. 
Lots of things went through my mind but I couldn’t blame Sam for not completing the task.  After all this is a team game and you win and lose together…. He tried his best that’s all I can ask for... we would have to wait to see if team Singapore would be able to complete the challenge or not. 

Fuzzie chose to do the Roadblock and was unable to complete it.. and we were saved from elimination.  Who knows what would have happened if AD did it...they also thought that it was a walking task ….

 I don’t know if even I could have completed it…

We pit stopped 3rd but now with a 4 hour penalty.

But one thing remains…Thank-you God because we’re still in the RACE!

Watch AXN this Thursday night Nov. 20th for the Final Episode to see what happens.


Offline apskip

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Re: TARA3: Sam & Vince (Hong Kong)
« Reply #39 on: November 19, 2008, 08:43:02 AM »
What I find most interesting in this very interesting account of episode 10 is the multiple clue boxes at the Al Alam Palace. In the AXN presentation of this episode, I had the idea that teams had to keep climbing back up the same set of steps. This clarifies that it was diferent steps.