TAR: Tattoo Time!

Amazing Race
This Is Forever, Now

Phil checks teams out at the former pit stop of the Stone Cross Outlook in Dubrovnik, Croatia where they find they are heading to Ancona, Italy. They must first travel by bus to Split, Croatia where they will catch a boat to cross the Adriatic Sea to find their next clue.

The teams were super spread apart in times that they left. The plane issues in the last episode really messed up some people.

  • 2:19 am – Ron & Christina
  • 2:55 am – Kynt & Vyxsin
  • 3:45 am – Nate & Jennifer
  • 5:37 am – TK & Rachel
  • 7:05 am – Nicholas & Donald

When Ron & Christina left, he talked about how Prego means please in Italian. Christina pointed out that was a spaghetti sauce, but Ron wasn’t hearing any of it. Kynt was mega excited about going to Italy since there is such fashion there. I’m not sure why Kynt thinks he has fashion sense, but he feels that him and Vyxsin are going to fit in very well there. Nate and Jen talked again about how they fight and get stupid, and they need to cut it out.

Ron & Christina were upset that the first bus didn’t leave until 5am. I’m not sure how they are shocked that a bus doesn’t leave in the middle of the night. Do they think there is that much demand to warrant it? The goths show up next, and ask a local to help them read the train schedule for them since it is “so confusing”. Christina just figured it out before them with no difficulty, so I guess that the goths were hoping for some local inside knowledge, but they ended up with the same information. Ron & Christina commented that it was always like a performance when the goths were around. Ron called it “kabuki theater.” Nate and Jen were the last team to show up before the first bus left. They all knew that the other two teams were too far behind to make it. This thrilled Jen and she did a little dance.

TK & Rachel didn’t leave the pit stop until almost 40 min. after the first three teams were on a bus to Split. They were by themselves the last leg of the tour, and hadn’t seen any teams this leg, so that added some tension. TK looked like he might burst with the little bit of tension added to his mellowness. They were sad when they arrived and no one was at the bus station. They left on the 6am bus to Split.

Nicholas & Don hoped that everyone bunched up some place since they were so far behind and the other teams were so competitive. I am glad they are still in the race, but also surprised by it.

Now all that spread out drama was for nothing, since everyone is catching the same ferry over to Italy. They are all bunched up together, so Don received his wish!

On the ferry, everyone is being friendly except for the goths. Vyxsin says they are concentrating on staying calm and getting serious, which apparently means reapplying make up and black nail polish, which is what they are shown doing. She knows it is going to be a serious leg and everyone is going to hit the ground running once they dock. If only she knew the foreshadowing she was doing at this point.

Ancona, Italy

At 9:40pm, they all arrive in Italy. That was quite a long trip! I have no idea when they got on the ferry, but I’m guessing most of the time was in Split waiting for the ferry. Everyone runs off the ferry and right past the clues. TK & Rachel see them and quietly walk over. Nicholas notices and goes back with Don. The other teams finally notice that running blindly isn’t working and realize they ran past a clue.

Route Info: Teams have to drive themselves to the town of Empoli. Once there, they need to find an airfield, Campo di volo Silvano Poli in Comune di Cortenuova. They have all been given a Blackberry, which will send them some information at one point, but they are not allowed to use it for any other purpose.

Some people freak out about the car being a stick shift. This is another thing that I don’t understand about people that get into this race. Learn to drive one before the race. It is a valuable skill!

While driving, everyone received messages from home on the Blackberry, which caused many people to get homesick.

Everyone finds different ways to figuring out how to get to Empoli from Ancona. A few look on a map and others ask locals. For some reason, a few people are told to drive to Bologna, then Florence and finally to Empoli. This looks really out of the way on maps to me, but maybe it is the difference of major highways over tiny country roads. Nate and Jen seem to be of the opinion of going through Bologna is out of the way, so they take a more direct, but more mountainous route.

TK and Rachel discover while driving that they don’t have their clue. Rachel searches the car while they drive and can’t find it. They pull over and can’t find it. They figure out that they have to go back to where they got directions from some locals to find the clue. They do finally find it back there where one of the locals had stashed it in her purse as a souvenir, but she did give it back once they returned. TK mentioned he is too mellow to handle all of it. They were told a more direct route, like the one Nate and Jen were on, but they were far behind after having to retrace their steps to find the clue.

Ron & Christina, Nicholas & Don, and the goths were all heading to Bologna to Florence and to Empoli. They all made it through Bologna, but were cut off before the turn off to Florence. They were getting detoured towards Milan, which was even more out of the way. Ron & Christina and the goths headed towards the detour. Nicholas & Don decided to investigate and asked when it was expected to open. It would reopen at 6am the next day, but they decide to just wait it out since Don has the experience of driving through Europe before and how detours can really send someone out of the way. It looks like they sleep in their car waiting for the road to open, while the other two detoured teams realize they will be driving all night trying to make it to Empoli.

Around the time of the road problems the other teams were having, Nate and Jen arrive at the airfield, but find that it doesn’t open until 7am. They do find some numbers to take, so they take number one and crash in the car. At sun up, TK & Rachel finally make their way to the airfield and are shocked to discover they are the second team to arrive.

Nicholas and Don finally get back on the road sometime after TK & Rachel arrive at the airfield. Ron is complimenting Christina on her navigational skills, but they have been driving all night. The goths are lost, confused and starting to go crazy from being up for 30 hours.

Empoli, Italy

Roadblock: At the airfield, the teams come across a road block. One team member has to soar over the Tuscan skies in an ultra light. While in the air, they have to scan a 10-kilometer radius of countryside for the clue of their next destination: Vinci. When they spot it, they tell it to a guy on the ground, who gives them the next clue, if they are correct. They can only be up in the ultra light for 30 minutes at a time since it has to refuel every 30 minutes.

There was also a fast forward in the clue, which lets a team skip all other tasks and go straight to the pit stop if they finish the fast forward task successfully. Jennifer really wants to do the fast forward because she is going to die if she isn’t ever in first place. Nate doesn’t want to do it so he does the road block. TK also decides to do the road block since he thinks it would be too risky to do it. Jennifer complains to Rachel about not doing the fast forward, but Rachel doesn’t’ seem to care what Jennifer is saying.

Ron & Christina arrive soon after Nate & TK are up in the area flying around. Nicholas & Don show up just after them, so sleeping on the highway waiting for it to open or driving around on the detour took the same amount of time. Nicholas and Don just have the advantage of sleep compared to driving all night. Nicholas and Don decide to go for the fast forward, which tells them to go to Fabio Studios to take part in a local seafaring tradition. What they don’t know is it involves them getting tattoos permanently. Wow!

While Nicholas & Don take off to the fast forward, Ron & Christina are trying to figure out where to take a number since they ran right past the numbers when they saw the clue box. Christina keeps asking her father if he is sure he doesn’t want to do the fast forward. Ron goes back into horrible mode and starts yelling at her for keep asking him the same question. Rachel is amazed at the way Ron talks to his daughter. It is the first time she has witnessed it and has no respect for him now. Ron & Christina finally find the number and go back to wait to get on the flying thing. The goths are shown still driving around, being lost, and Vyxsin is having a nervous breakdown from lack of sleep. Kynt tells her to pull over so he can drive.

Nate finally sees the clue! He lands, but TK is still looking. He gets the clue correct, so Nate and Jen are off to the next destination, which is to drive to Vinci to find the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci. Jen complains about not doing the fast forward to Nate when they get into the car, but she isn’t screeching and he isn’t yelling back. It is like a normal argument. TK has to land to refuel, but Rachel doesn’t know that. She think he has the clue, until he says he has no idea. He goes up again, while Christina gets ready to head on up.

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Don are realizing they have to get tattoos at the fast forward. Don is freaking out about getting a tattoo at his age. I’m thinking, “Who are you going to impress? Do it!” Nicholas says if they go back now, they most likely will be eliminated. If only they knew how lost the goths were at this point. Don decides to do it! They both get the only choice of “FF” for fast forward on their arms. Don wishes they had the old fast forward where they had to shave their head, since this task is forever.

TK is still not finding any clue, when Christina finally sees it and comes on down. TK has to come down to refuel again, and is totally stressed out. He doesn’t know what to do and complains to Rachel, yet she can’t help. It’s a road block. He just has to get back up there and do it again until he can find the clue! The goths finally find Empoli when Ron & Christina are leaving.

Vinci, Italy

Nate and Jen arrive in Vinci and find a map where Vinci’s estate is 3km up the road. They decide to make the brilliant move that they did a few episodes back and just run up there instead of driving. Why? Who knows!

Around this time, Nick & Don are finishing with their tattoos and heading to the Boboli Gardens in Florence. Is that where Boboli bread comes from?

Nate & Jen finally find the clue box and Jen realizes they could have drove up there. You mean cars can make their way up the streets that they just ran up? Oh dear.

Detour: In the detour, they have a choice between Invention and Tradition. In Invention, the teams go to a nearby courtyard to work on a replica of an old crane designed by da Vinci. They have to assemble the crane and use it to lift one large stone off the ground. Once it is lifted, they put a mirror underneath it to read the clue printed on the bottom of it of their next location. In Tradition, teams find Piazza Guido Masi where they have to learn and perform a traditional local flag routine. If they complete it correctly, they will be handed their next destination on a fancy piece of paper by a guy in a funny outfit.

Nate & Jen decide to do the flag thing, but have to run all the way back down since they didn’t drive up the hill. In wasting this time, Ron & Christina have almost caught up with them. TK is still back at the airfield, not seeing anything, and the goths have finally arrived to work on the roadblock. The goths decide the fast forward is impossible to complete for it to be beneficial and Vyxsin decides to do the roadblock.

Nate & Jen watch the flag routine before practicing with some of the flag guys. Jen gets the hang of it pretty quickly, but Nate is all thumbs. His flag gets tangled and he’s just dumb with it. He makes a comment about Jen being small and tiny, but super competitive. I have no idea how being short has anything to do with being competitive, but that’s Nate’s logic.

Ron & Christina show up at the detour and see Nate & Jen’s car. They know they can beat them, while they run up to the estate to get the clue. At this point, Vyxsin has finished the road block and TK has come in for his millionth refueling without seeing the clue. I have no idea how someone can be so blind. The letters look huge. Maybe his pilot hates hippies and is flying around in all other areas except where the clue is located.

Nate & Jen try to do the routine, but fail. They try again and are successful the second time around. They are given the final destination clue to head to Boboli Gardens (or as Nate said “Boebee Gardens”). Ron & Christina decide to go with the flags because Ron said da Vinci’s drawings are complicated. By the time they get back down the hill to head towards the Piazza, Nate & Jen’s car is already gone. Ron can’t believe they didn’t catch up to them already.

While Ron & Christina work on the flags, TK finally sees the clue on the flying thing! He hopes they aren’t eliminated for being blind. Ron & Christina fail at the first try, but do it the second time. They are heading to “Boblo” Gardens. I love the way people pronounce things in this game. 🙂 The goths are asking for directions to Vinci and TK & Rachel are heading that way as well. When Ron & Christina get to their car, Ron jumps in and takes off while Christina is still trying to get in the car. She has to yell to get him to stop. Nice!

When they finally get going, the goths show up to the detour. They first pick the crane assembling task since it was right there. They take one look at all the parts and decide that their lack of sleep will not help them in this situation so they head off to the flags. They get in their car to drive to the other detour and pass TK & Rachel who are walking back from the clue box, realizing they could have drove up there.

TK wants to do the invention task, which Rachel doesn’t seem to want to do it, by the inflection of her voice, but she doesn’t seem to voice her opinion much. The goths manage to get lost finding the Piazza, which causes another breakdown from both of them. Vyxsin is trying to turn around in a one-lane street and Kynt is screaming that he’ll jump out of the car if she doesn’t stop it right now. Fun!

TK & Rachel are working on the crane, and Rachel said it should be something she is really good at, but they are having difficulties. They are close to getting it done, while the goths are now breaking the car. When Kynt starts driving, he says it won’t go into gear. Vyxsin takes over and says he broke it. They park the car and Vyxsin says she doesn’t know how to fix it. Kynt’s way to helping is telling Vyxsin to shut up. She doesn’t’ take the bait and just ignores him when he does this. They end up leaving the car in a parking lot and running to the Piazza, hoping that a replacement car will be there when they return, which is what happens if a car breaks down on a contestant. They aren’t compensated for any time if their vehicle does quit working though.

TK & Rachel finally get the crane working, lift up the block and place the mirror underneath it. They read their clue and run back to their car to head to the pit stop. That’s when they see the goths running to their detour. They are so happy that they aren’t in last place while they drive to Florence. Then, they get a flat tire! This leg is insane with wackiness!

The goths finish up the flags (and actually pronounce Boboli correctly!) to find a new car in the parking lot. They are pretty sure they are last, but aren’t going to quit. They seem to be fine with each other too. They are driving to Florence when TK finally gets the flat tire changed and they are back on the road. Who will be in last place?

Boboli Gardens, Florence, Italy

While Nate & Jen are about to start their detours, Ron & Christina are still driving to Vinci, TK is still not finding the clue at the airfield and Vyxsin is about to go up in the flying thing, Nick & Don arrive at the pit stop. They are awarded a five-night trip to La Blanc Spa & Resort in Cancun. Don is determined to win now and thinks they can do it.

Nate and Jen are team number two while Ron & Christina are working on their flag routine. I’m amazed that they didn’t scream at each other the entire race. Ron & Christina are the third team to arrive just after the goths have broken their car and TK & Rachel are almost done building their crane. TK & Rachel show up in fourth place. They almost start crying to find out they are still in the race.

The goths show up in last place, but they get the good news that it is the first of two non-elimination legs. Yeah! They are still in the race, but there is a new twist in the race called a Speed Bump. Sometime during the next leg, there will be an extra task that only they have to perform. It could make them spend too much time on it, they will have to work extra hard to catch up or they could be in last place again. Vyxsin starts crying, but is happy that they aren’t eliminated. She is also breaking down again about being lost and how they sniped at each other all day long. I’m glad they are still in it, but they did lose it during the leg of the race. Being that tired can do that to you though.

  1. Nick & Don – trip to Cancun
  2. Nate & Jen
  3. Ron & Christina
  4. TK & Rachel
  5. Last Place – Kynt & Vyxsin

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