Team Hong Kong ... Four Hours Behind ... "Don't get lost!"
Governorate of Muscat Office
We started 4 hours behind because we were unable to complete the roadblock from the last leg and had to stay focused on our tasks..... one thing we always remembered was "Don't get lost!" We headed down the cliffs and navigated our way to the Governorate of Muscat Office. We flagged down a taxi to bring us there so that we wouldn't waste any time. When we got there we saw that there was an Hours of operation sign .. so we knew that we had caught up a little already.
As we ran towards the clue box I saw a sign that told us to keep off the grass and to
"Respect the grass!" but I don't think Sam saw it and he ran on it ... that's why I yelled that out. when he ran on it.... hahaha... we're in a foreign place we needed to respect their laws and customs.
Said's Camel Farm
Getting to the farm was a task in itself. It was quite far away and off the main road. We had to navigate with our 4x4 through the sand using the other teams' tracks as a guide. When we finally got there we had to guide 10 camels that were tied up into a cage on the other side of the compound. This was not an easy task because the camels that were left seemed to be VERY MEAN. Sam tried to pull on it's leash and it flung him to the ground. I had to wrap the leash around my hands a few times so that it was secure and that way I could prevent them from breaking free.
Our camels seemed not to want to move and would refuse to go in the direction we wanted them to go.
The extreme heat and sun made things worse. I watched the Omani boy who was at the Camel Farm give directions to the camels so I mimicked what he did to coax the camels into the cage. When we were finally done we got our next clue.
Road Block: Who holds the key to your destiny?
The next task was a Roadblock and we needed and by the like of the clue it seemed to be a puzzle / patience needed task. That’s Sam’s specialty so he decided to do it. We had to then navigate to ourselves to the Uber Sand Dunes in Oman… again it was off the paved roads with no clearly mapped out roads. As we drove deeper into the sands are 4x4 started to get bogged down and we were stuck. I told Sam my experience with driving in the snow….and how to prevent getting stuck.
I had to get out and push a few times but we eventually got there. On the way to the sand dunes we saw both Geoff and Tish and Tania and Ida’s vehicle pass us so we knew that we were hot on their tail. Sam had to use a metal detector. To comb through an area about the size of half a soccer field to look for a key to open a lock that would give us our next clue.
This task required stamina and patience because there were many “wrong” keys that would not work with the lock. As well, the
SUN WAS AT IT”S STRONGEST during midday and we were in the middle of the desert. I told him that I would stay out in the sun with him while he looked to give him support. I had a swim coach when I was younger that made a deal with all of us and said that he wouldn’t sit while we practiced… this was psychologically motivating so I did the same for team unity. He had to stop and rest in the tent area a few times because he was getting heat exhaustion from being out there too long.
After about 25 minutes of looking for the key we were able to find the right one and open the lock to get our clue.
Travel to Phuket Thailand
We had to travel to our final destination of Phuket Thailand. We ran right for our jeep and headed for the airport. We had crisscrossed around across Muscat and a few times and so we knew how to get to the airport. At the airport the stress started... In order to to get to Phuket we had to go to Dubai first. We got to the counter and it was closed. The guy counter told us that we were too late and would not sell us tickets. We went to a few counters but they had no flights so we went back to the original counter and begged him. As we were trying to persuade him we saw the other teams happily walk by us because they had secured their tickets from Oman to Phuket already. Geoff and Tish were going to Phuklet via Dubai and Bangkok... while Tania and Ida had tickets to Phuket via Dubai and Singapore or K.L. ... which would put them way ahead of Geoff and Tish. We were happy just to get to Dubai and by God's grace we were able to buy tickets quickly ran towards the gate. It was miracle that we were able to buy tickets, clear customs and get to the flight within one hour. When we entered the plane we saw the faces of the other teams. They were quite disappointed haha... but we had not secured the next round of flights at that point in time so we had make sure not to waste time in Dubai.
When we got to Dubai we raced out of the plane and went to the ticket counters to try to purchase tickets to Bangkok... but the one that counted was closed. We used that time to research on the internet on the best possible way to get to Phuket. From what we could gather, the best possible way was take a Thai Airways flight to Bangkok and then look for a Air Asia flight in Bangkok to Phuket. The problem was that we were unable to buy these tickets online because we were looking to travel within 24 hours, the internal counter was still closed and if we wanted to go to the ticket counter outside we would have pass through immigration to go outside buy tickets and then come back in ... but there was no guarantee if there were any seats left. We decided to wait it out inside the airport and the ticket counter eventually opened. We bought our tickets to Bangkok but we had no tickets from Bangkok to Phuket.
On the plane I asked the flight attendant for the book that has all the flight schedule's and sure enough the Air Asia flight was the fastest for us at that point in time. When we got to Bangkok we raced out of the plane and headed for the ticket counter to purchase tickets. We were lucky that there was space still on the flight. When we went to check in we saw Geoff and Tish already there. They were also able to get themselves seated in the very first row so that they could be the first out of the plane.
It was a mad dash for the taxi stand when we landed in Phuket but Geoff and Tish managed to be just ahead of us and took the first taxi. We had to wait for about 5 minutes for the next taxi to arrive.
We quickly found our way to the Temple and found our next clue.
Thai Trade Food Ice Factory
When we got to the Ice Factory we saw three full barrels of ice. We didn't see Geoff and Tish and we weren't sure where Ida and Tania were because we heard that they had planned to take an earlier flight into Phuket through KL. We jumped right into our task and started looking for the "souvenir" in the ice bucket. I wrapped my hands with towels because the ice was so cold and Sam put on gloves he picked up from Vietnam. I had a feeling that the "thing" we were looking for was either clear like an ice cube or blue like the barrel. We were careful not too throw the ice too far away in case we didn't see "it" ... and towards the very bottom of the bucket when all the ice was gone...
I saw the small little clear plastic block with The Amazing Race Asia logo etched inside. I exchanged this for our next clue.
Lam Hin Pier
Geoff and Tish and Ida and Tania were no where insight and we were off to the Pier to look for our next clue. But on the way our taxi driver needed to get gas and so we decided to get another taxi.Our newtaxi driver knew exactly where to go. THIS WAS THE KEY.... the funny thing is that he told us that he had moved recently to Phuket from Bangkok but miraculously he knew where all these obscure places were....We arrived at the Pier, told our taxi driver to wait in case we need him again and ran out towards the very end to get our next clue.
Search for the Fisherman...
We ran back what seemed an insane distance just to pay our taxi driver... and then ran back to the end of the pier to get our boat ( we remembered to always pay our taxi driver since the incident on first leg).
We scanned all the boat drivers and picked the one who seemed to know where to go and also would be able to get us there quickly.
Pretty soon we had found the fisherman and the clue he gave directed us to was to Middle Island to do a detour.
Pick or Plunge
I thought that the plunge task would be easier because we didn't need to stick together and I had swam competitively when I was younger and Sam was a decent swimmer himself.
However the water was murky and after a few minutes in we decided to switch tasks. (this was the first time that we had ever decided to do that.) ... we quickly ran to the kayaks and paddled out to the look for the marked clams.
It was a miracle because Sam found the right clam out of 800 within a few minutes, When we went to exchange the clam for our clue it directed us to go dig for the chest with our money in it.
Looking for the treasure chest
We picked a plot that was shaded so that we could stay out of the intense sun. We had no idea how big the chest was , where it was or how deep it was ... so our plan was to dig from the outside perimeter on opposite sides and to dig about one arms length deep. I believe that it was about 20 minutes into digging with our bare hands when we I hit something. We focused our energy on digging out the treasure chest for another 15 minutes.
It was lodged in quite solidly. I imagine that the producers had prepared it the day before and packed down the sand and poured water onto so that it was like concrete. It was taking so long and I was so frustrated with the whole thing so I decided to kick the chest and in that instant it became dislodged.
A foot race to the finish.... we quickly pulled out the chest with our money in it and followed the arrows to the Final Pit stop. We really had no idea because Tania and Ida and were not seen and Geoff and Tish were just behind us. We could hear the cheers of the other Racers and used that as guide as well to find the Final Pit Stop.
Then around the bend we saw them... Alan... the other teams and
THE PIT STOP... we ran a fast as we could and dropped the Treasure chest onto the mat and waited for Alan to tell us the results...
I'm so sad now... that it's over.... I'd rather be racing!
side note... everyone asked why we had no shirts for the final task...
well I had no idea where my shirt had gone after the Plunge task and I thought that we could drape Sam's Hong Kong shirt over the chest as we were running to the pit stop...it was all a blur and I don't remember why we didn't do that though it though... sorry to all the viewers who had to witness that scene... haha...
hmm maybe I can get into Men's Health now... with one of those "Before and After" articles haha ...again are there any gyms that want to sponsor me while I'm training ? Alan Wu you better watch out!!! hahahaHONG KONGfights back after a 4 hour time penalty to win
THE AMAZING RACE ASIA 3Remember …
“There’s No Giving Up!”VMC
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