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From Snow to Sand – The Amazing Race 5, Episode 5


by aurora

As we catch up with the teams this week, they’re at their latest pit stop – Catherine’s Palace in chilly Russia. Chip and Kim are the first to depart, heading for St. Petersburg by train to the famous Hermitage museum. Once there, they must find a painting by Rembrandt called ‘The Prodigal Son’ – no small feat in the giant museum.

Chip and Kim make it to the first train to St. Petersburg, followed by Colin and Christie on the second train. Lance and Marshall leave third, but Marshall is concerned over his aching knees. He hobbles to a taxi and wonders how he’s going to make it through the race.

Once on the train, the brothers comment on how miserable everyone in Russia is. The weather is miserable, and so are they people they decide. Someone give these guys a quarter so they can buy a better attitude.

The rest of the teams follow to the Hermitage, with the twins and the bowling moms bringing up the rear.

Meanwhile, Chip and Kim are at the museum, confident that they will find the painting because they are familiar with what it should look like. They do indeed find it, and are given their next clue. They now must travel over 2000 miles to Cairo, Egypt to find the Tower of Cairo, a 600-foot observation tower. They exit the museum and head for the international airport.

Close behind, Colin and Christie also find the painting, but decide to go to a nearby travel agency before going to the airport. Chip and Kim are told that the best flight they can get will arrive in Cairo at 3:15pm the following day, while Colin and Christie find a flight that will arrive almost an hour earlier. Lance and Marshall, Charla and Mirna, and Brandon and Nicole also book the same flights as Chip and Kim.

At the airport, Lance (or Marshall – can’t tell which one’s which sometimes) runs into Colin, and discovers that there was indeed an earlier flight. He tells Colin that it seems they have the best flight, and Colin is very pleased.

Back at the Hermitage, the race is once again on between Kami and Karli and Karen and Linda. They both rush into the museum to find the painting. Kami and Karli luck out by finding a local who leads them right to the work of art, then to a travel agency so that they can book tickets on the same flight as the others.

Karen and Linda struggle to find the painting, and when they get their clue and head out, their taxi driver takes them to the domestic airport. This blunder causes them to miss the flight that most of the group is on, and they’re devastated. A quick visit to the Lufthansa office cheers them up though – they can catch a flight the next morning to Frankfurt, where they will meet up with the other racers and connect on the same flight. Lucky moms!

Colin and Christie, already ahead of the pack, find an even faster flight in Paris where they make their connection to Cairo. Now they will arrive over 12 hours ahead of everyone else.

In Frankfurt, Charla and Mirna also head to the ticket counter to see if they can find a faster flight. They do, and book tickets that would bring them to Cairo at 2:25 – 50 minutes ahead of the others. They sneak back to the group and wait until everyone is asleep before creeping off to their departure gate.

Already in Cairo now, Colin and Christie find the Tower of Cairo and discover that it doesn’t open until 9am. They find a quiet spot and sleep until then. Once up the tower, they find one of only two Fast Forwards in the race. They decide to use it, and must complete a task before heading directly to the pit stop.

Their task is to find a sarcophagus and deliver it by ferry to a waiting priest, who will then give them instructions to get to their pit stop. They walk right by the sarcophagus twice, take the ferry without it, and then must go back to get it. They argue a bit, but their lead is so great that they could have taken hours to find the thing and still come in first place for this leg.

The pit stop for this leg of the race is The Sphinx, and Colin marvels at the pyramids along the way. The view is breathtaking. As they arrive, Phil tells them they are the first team to arrive, and Christie prays that they can hold on to their amazing lead on the next leg.

In second place, Charla and Mirna arrive at the Tower of Cairo to find a route marker, instructing them to travel to the Giza Plateau. Once they arrive there, they must follow the yellow rocks to their next task. They find a Road Block, which calls on one of them to climb down a series of ladders into the Osiris Shaft – an underground tunnel full of water. Once down there, they must retrieve a satchel full of ‘artifacts’ and bring them back up.

Mirna again passed the task off to Charla, who didn’t give it a second thought. She donned the gear and made her way down into the shaft, got the satchel and climbed back up. That woman is fearless! Inside the satchel was a puzzle, which they had to put together over a map to find where they had to go for their next clue.

Meanwhile, the next plane carrying the rest of the teams has landed and everyone is on their way to the Giza Plateau (or as Chip called it, The Giza Plaza). Each team completes the Road Block and gets their map, as the twins and the bowling moms continue to duke it out for last place. Linda falls and twists her ankle, causing another setback for the moms.

As most of the teams put their maps together and the last two teams struggle along, Charla and Mirna find their clue – a Detour. They have a choice between ‘Rock and Roll’, or ‘Hump and Ride’. In Rock and Roll, team must drag 600 pounds of solid rock across a sand-covered stretch the size of a football field, using an ancient pulley system used by Egyptians to build the pyramids. In Hump and Ride, teams must ride horses that are hooked up to camels carrying stacks of carpets, for one mile across the desert.

Charla and Mirna note that the Hump and Ride option closes at 5:30pm – it is now 5:27. They race to the horses and camels, and make it there just in time. The men looking after the animals give Charla hugs and praise her, as she dons her jockey gear and gets on the horse. The pair then take their leisurely ride across the desert, stopping to marvel at the sites and appreciate the view.

As night falls, the rest of the teams lose out on the Hump and Ride option and now must all complete the Rock and Roll detour. Chip and Kim make short work of it, as Brandon and Nicole argue and have trouble with their pulley. When Brandon and Nicole’s cart becomes dislodged, they call out to Chip to give them a hand. He obliges, and says that he’s just a nice guy at heart. Lance and Marshal are having a difficult time getting the rocks across, but keep at it.

Meanwhile, the twins get their satchel from the shaft and discard the puzzle pieces, thinking they aren’t important. They head off with no clue as to where they are going. As Kami and Karli take off, the moms arrive at the shaft and get their satchel. They put the puzzle together and head for the Rock and Roll detour.

Kami and Karli meet up with Chip and Kim, and Chip tells them where they need to go. He apologizes for the earlier tension between them, and hopes that things are good between the two teams now. Sure, they’ll be good until they both need a cab at the same time again!

Charla and Mirna reach the Sphinx and check in in second place, followed by Brandon and Nicole, Chip and Kim, and Lance and Marshall.

Kami and Karli struggle with the pulleys, as Karen and Linda arrive to start with theirs. The editing makes it look like there was only seconds between the teams finishing, but I think the twins ended up with a good lead on the moms. Kami and Karli finally arrive at the Sphinx to learn they are the sixth team to arrive.

Karen and Linda bring up the rear, arriving last at the pit stop. Phil had good news and bad news for them – the good news is that this is one of four pre-determined non-elimination legs (say that five times fast!). The bad news is that they have to hand over all of their money right now, and will not receive any cash at the start of the next leg of the race. Karen realizes how tough this is going to be, but proclaims that they’re not going to give up.

Next week, Colin and Christie butt heads with Charla and Mirna, as the moms beg for cash from the poor Egyptian people. Oh, and someone drools over Brandon with his shirt off. Ick!

Comments are welcome! Contact me at carrie@realityshack.com.


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