"Courteous? This Is
a Race! - Leg 1" - March 1
The first flight into... *sniff*... oh,...sorry... *sniff sniff*
I think I'm getting a nosebleed from the altitude this recap is
becoming. Anyway, the first flight into Cuzco arrives and the
three teams on board get off... and immediately feel
light-headed. But not to worry because, just before the Route
Marker is a cart handing out "Mata de Cola" to help with the
altitude sickness. Bottles in hand, the three front teams get
Make your way in the marked taxis to the
small town of Huamutio (22 miles away). Near the entrance to
the city will be a line of food kiosks. Find the 'Coca-Cola'
one with the owner Felipe and he will give you your next
The taxis are
right nearby... and all of the cabbies speak Spanish
solamente. No problem for Team Well-Traveled Babes. BIT of
a problem for Team Survivor and Team First Mom/Son. All three
enjoy the mountainous view along the way.
Debbie & Bianca are the first to the kiosks thanks to the driver
of the taxi loco. They find Felipe's kiosk and receive
Drive by taxi across the bridge and head to
the top of the nearby gorge (2 miles away). Once there, you
will ride on a zip-line to the other side of the gorge
(about 1000 feet across) and then another one to the bottom
of it (about 1400 feet down). You will receive your next
clue before you both hit the bottom but you must NOT open it
until you are together at the bottom of the gorge.
Susan & Patrick
see the ladies' taxi before it pulls out so they're able to find
the kiosk. Before THEY take off, Rob & Amber arrive, grab the
clue and go in pursuit.
At the gorge, Team Well-Traveled Babes is Team #1... down the
zip-line, that is. The other teams line-up behind them. Bianca
is first and SCREAMS down the line. Debbie's a little less
nervous, even letting go of the harness. As Bianca goes down #2,
Debbie is given the clue and, again, informed not to open it
until she hits the bottom. As the two friends reunite to the
sounds of a native band, Debbie & Bianca hit their first:
DETOUR - Rope a
Llama or Rope a Basket?
LLAMA - Go to the nearby field and rope two llamas. Then
take them down a path to a marked pen. Once both llamas are
secure in the pen, the herdmaster will hand you your next
ROPE A BASKET - Each team member must take a rope and tie it
around a basket full of 35 pounds of alfalfa (a big crop in
Peru). You must then carry it 2/3 of a mile to a local
marked store (Tienda de Victoria Verdia). The storekeeper
will then hand you your next clue.
As the two girls
argue which way to go, Susan & Patrick start THEIR slide down.
And Patrick is glad to have relieved himself first. Once they
get down, they IMMEDIATELY decide to ROPE A LLAMA. As they pass
the STILL-arguing Debbie & Bianca, they make up their mind FOR
them: THEY'RE gonna ROPE A LLAMA as well.
Suddenly, from the gorge comes the echo of "HOLY CANNOLI!" Rob
has followed Amber down the zip-lines, both of them screaming
their heads off. And, when they get to the DETOUR, they decide
to ROPE A BASKET.
As those on the first flight get to their tasks, the 7:40 flight
lands, crowded with Racers looking for their "Mata de Cola" and
their clue. Brian & Greg are the first off the plane and into
the taxi towards Huamutio. The rest come out in a few clumps,
with Ryan & Chuck, Ray & Deana, Ron & Kelly and Megan & Heidi
coming out last since they were in the back of the plane. Yet
another "Cannonball Run" montage ensues.
I was waiting for them to use the Rascal Flatts' song "Walk the
Llama". Of course, I was ALSO waiting for one of the llamas to
talk like David Spade. Nevertheless, Team Well-Travelled Babes
arrive in the llama field and proceed to easily rope two llamas.
That's the EASY part. The HARD part is making them move! Team
First Mom/Son likewise rope a pair but have a little LESS
difficulty making them move. Still DIFFICULT, but not by much.
Finally, Debbie tells Bianca that she wants to quit and go to
ROPE A BASKET. After a minute of arguing, Bianca finally
Meanwhile, Team Survivor dons sarapes, wraps the ropes around
the baskets and HEFT them onto their backs. Rob's upset that the
Incan hat blocks his "Red Soux" cap but "when in Incaville, do
as the Incans do". The basket slips out of Rob's ropes about a
third of the way but, after a brief stop to relax, they get
re-organized and on their way into town.
Now, llamas are really just Incan camels. And Robin Williams
should've been there to tell Susan & Patrick, "Watch out...they
spit." And they do... a FEW times. The mother and son are not
liking it... but at least the animals are cooperating... to a
degree. Meanwhile, Team Well-Travelled Babes hefts up their
baskets, Debbie more confident that they can accomplish this
As Team Barroom Bros arrives at Felipe's store and the rest of
the teams follow close behind, Team Survivor arrives at the
store. They are rewarded with this clue:
Make your way to Huamutio Police Station and
ride in the back of a marked delivery truck to the town of
Pisac (close to 20 miles away). Trucks depart every 20
minutes from the police station. Once in Pisac, find the
local marketplace for your next clue.
As Rob & Amber go to find the station (passing Debbie &
Bianca en route), Susan & Patrick manage to get the llamas
moving well. Though getting them into the pen is a little hard,
they manage it and get into second place. Debbie & Bianca get
their alfalfa delivery to the store and follow Rob & Amber,
though technically in third. Team First Mom/Son manage to jump
on the truck just before it headed out with Team Survivor
already in the back. That means Team Well-Travelled Babes have
to wait 20 minutes for the next truck. They are alone on that
Meanwhile, back at the gorge, Brian & Greg are the first team to
head down the zip line, followed closely by Lynn & Alex and
Meredith & Gretchen (a very SCARED Gretchen). As they go off to
their DETOURs (see below), the last group arrives at Felipe's.
They all take off for the gorge and head down in this order: Ray
& Deana, Uchenna & Joyce, Ryan & Chuck (saying they're "gonna be
the first ones to load test it"), Ron & Kelly and, in the rear,
Megan & Heidi. They choose THEIR DETOURs as follows:
LLAMA: Team Socially Secure, Team Will Race For Food, Team Dukes
of Landrum and Team American Beauties
BASKET: Team Barroom Bros, Team Fab Two, Team On-Again-Off-Again
and Team Cali Roomies
As the last group reaches the gorge, Brian & Greg reach the
store and head for the police station in 4th place. Meredith &
Gretchen find two co-operative llamas to take to the pens.
Meredith leads them while Gretchen swats their heinies to get
them to move. Deana, however, has problems with her rope choking
her. What's more, the thin air is starting to get to her. En
route to the station, Team Barroom Bros tell Team Fab Two that
they passed the store... then said they were kidding. Lynn &
Alex get into 5th place. Both "bad boy" teams make the 3rd truck
out of town.
Team Socially Secure get into 6th place after penning their
llamas. Team On-Again-Off-Again struggle, but get their alfalfa
to the store in 7th place. But... Deana is exhausted and wants a
breather before they continue. Ray'll have none of that. They
fail to catch the bus that Meredith & Gretchen are on... and
that upsets Ray to no end.
En route to the village, Team First Mom/Son strike up
an alliance with Team Survivor... but for the sole purpose of
bringing them down. (Doubt THAT'S gonna work!) They arrive right
in front of the marketplace and start to navigate the twists and
turns of the various tents, searching for the Route Marker. Rob
walks around asking the locals, "Do you have a clue?" (That's
probably what said locals would like to ask THEM.)
It's Susan & Patrick, however, who find the clue box and, in a
show of honor, yell for Rob & Amber to go get it. They rip it
open to reveal:
ROUTE INFO - PIT STOP:
Make your way to the first PIT STOP of the
Race: La Merced in Cuzco (a 325-year-old church 22 miles
from Pisac). WARNING: the last team to check-in will be
A pair of taxis locos await the two teams...but Team
Survivor's cab turns much faster, vaulting them into first.
Meanwhile, Debbie & Bianca (having bribed the children on the
truck with bracelets) waste no time leaping off the truck and
running through the marketplace. They find it in no time and
head off in third for now.
On the other trucks, Lynn & Alex are singing showtunes, Brian &
Greg are trying not to rip their ears off, Meredith & Gretchen
break the eggs of a family who brought their chickens along for
the ride (and pay compensation for them) and Ray & Deana get on
the fourth one to Pisac, but have to wait 20 minutes.
At the llama field, Team Will Race For Food and Team Dukes of
Landrum fins a llama each and push them along, Ryan & Chuck
having an easier time than Uchenna & Joyce. They both get the
llamas to the pen... and then turn around and look to get the
second ones. Team American Beauties and Team Cali Roomies take
off with their baskets, breathing heavy in the high altitude.
Back at Pisac, the brothers and the lover disembark and, like
teams before them, search for the clue together. It's Team
Barroom Bros who find it and scream at Team Fab Two to get over
there. They both leave in taxis for the PIT STOP. Meanwhile,
Uchenna & Joyce are lucky to get a runner for their second llama
and move ahead of Ryan & Chuck into 8th. Team Dukes of Landrum
get into 9th with THEIR second llama.
Team American Beauties are breathless... literally. But they
push on to get into 10th, leaving Team Cali Roomies STILL in
last as they dump off their alfalfa. (Please note... not a
SINGLE 'Little Rascals' joke in that ENTIRE segment!) Ray &
Joyce, having waited all this time in the truck, are joined by
Uchenna & Joyce (making Ray MUCH less happy). They pull out,
leaving Ryan & Chuck and Ron & Kelly in their dust.
Meanwhile, three taxis are practically neck-and-neck heading
PIT STOP: LA MERCED CHURCH, CUZCO, PERU
Traffic woes, wrong directions and other mishaps plague the
Racers. Rob & Amber have to get out to help a stalled car off
the road so that they can get through. Debbie & Bianca's cab has
so many "Virgin Mary" rear-view-mirror hangers that it's amazing
the driver can see. And Susan & Patrick are just riding on Team
All three decide not to wait for traffic and to get to the
church on foot. But only one will make it into the courtyard in
The team enters the courtyard, runs to the red-yellow-and-black
mat in front of Phil and a native Incan who welcomes them to
Cuzco. Then Phil says those magic words:
"Debbie & Bianca... you are Team Number 1!"
So...where are CBS sending Team Well-Traveled Babes for winning
this leg of the Race? Mexico? Europe? The Caribbean? Actually,
none of the above. See, the reward for winning THIS leg is...
$10,000! EACH! That's 20 "large" the ladies have won to
travel wherever the hell they WANT to.
Susan & Patrick arrive a few minutes later as Team #2... and Rob
& Amber a few minutes after THAT as Team # 3... and this after
starting off in LAST! Brian & Greg show up a little later as
Team #4 and Lynn & Alex right behind as Team #5.
Meanwhile, back on the road, Uchenna & Joyce and Ray & Deana are
at least happy that three teams are 20 minutes behind them. Said
three teams make the last truck out of Huamutio
(with Megan & Heidi JUST making it). Team Will Race For Food and
Team On-Again-Off-Again do the same thing as others: worked
together to find the clue for all four of them (Ray finds it,
BTW). But... Ray & Deana can't seem to FIND Uchenna & Joyce. So,
not wanting to waste time, they haul ass. The GOOD news is
Uchenna finds it not-too-soon afterwards.
More truck-bed singing? Team Dukes of Landrum aren't much better
than Team Fab Two... and THEY'RE torturing TWO teams. They all
get to the market and do NOT team up. But they DO have something
going for them: the marketers have seen 16 Americans pass by
them to the Route Marker so they can give a general direction to
the others. They find the clue at just about the same time... so
it's truly a race to see who will be out of the Race.
Meredith & Gretchen arrive at the church as Team #6, followed
closely by Ray & Deana as #7... which is AMAZING with all the
bad breaks they had this leg. A few minutes behind THEM are
Uchenna & Joyce, who are Team #8... and have sworn off llamas as
On the roads, the last three taxis ride towards Cuzco, each team
within all but begging their driver to go faster and faster. Ron
& Kelly's car passes EVERYONE across the double-yellow line and
into 9th... and Megan & Heidi's cab follows suit, leaving Ray &
But, getting closer to the church, it's still rather tight.
They're all close to the church... but two teams get lost
finding the entrance. That gives Megan & Heidi the chance to
arrive as Team # 9 uncontested. That means it's the trim
military man and beauty queen vs. the portly redneck
"good-buddies" in a foot race to stay in the game.
(Anyone care to place wagers? Didn't think so.)
One team runs into the courtyard... the other team about ten
second behind them. The front team pounds on the mat with their
feet as Phil says,...
"Ron & Kelly,....you're Team Number 10!"
A mere twenty feet behind them, Team Dukes of Landrum have run
out of gas. The walk to the mat and Phil gives them the
double-bad news: they're the last team to arrive... and they're
out of the Race. They traveled nearly 8000 miles in the last few
days... but now they have to have Carolina on their minds
because that's where they're heading. They tearfully say that
their friendship is much more important than how they place