Leg 16.04 – “Use your hips, not your face!”
It’s noon in San Antonio de Areco and teams open their first clue which tells them to hop onto a bus back to Buenos Aires.
Arriving at 8pm on Chevallier Bus, teams make their way to Avenida 9 de Julio to find…
The Forced Double U-Turn Vote Board! (Sponsored by Samsung and Smart!)
After teams have voted for their two preferred teams, they can open their next clue which reveals they will be flying to Belize City, Belize!
All teams will be on the same American Airlines flight via Dallas/Fort Worth, arriving in Belize City at 1:12pm.
Teams must choose a brand new, imported 2019 Kia Sportage and drive themselves to the Swing Bridge.
Teams must search the area for their next clue which they will find is hanging under the bridge. Teams must hop into a boat to be able to grab one of the hanging clues under the bridge.
Teams must now drive to Orange Walk Town and search the main thoroughfare for the Double U-Turn Reveal Board!
After checking in at the Reveal Board, teams will open the next clue revealing the Detour: Sweet Sugar or Plump Papaya.
In Sweet Sugar, teams must drive to the Tower Hill Sugar Factory where they will cut down an entire section of sugarcane by hand. They must then load all the sugarcane into a waiting truck to receive their next clue.
In Plump Papaya, teams must drive to this papaya farm where they will choose a number and then harvest all papaya from the corresponding numbered trees. They will then wash the papayas and properly pack them in boxes to be shipped out to receive their next clue.
After the Detour, teams must drive to Caves Branch Lodge. They will pick a number and sleep here overnight until awakened in the morning. The numbers will determine the order of departure three minutes apart.
In the morning, teams will drive to Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Reserve.
Here, teams will tandem zipline through the jungle searching for their next clue somewhere below.
That clue directs teams to Barton Creek Cave where they will find the Road Block: Who likes a mystery?
The Road Block participant will receive the Road Block clue, but cannot open it until told. In the meantime, teams must take a canoe and row through the saves to search for five different Maya glyphs. At the cave opening, teams can open the Road Block clue.
For this Road Block, teams must draw the five glyphs they’ve just seen to receive the next clue.
Teams must now drive to Hawkesworth Bridge for the next clue.
That clue tells teams to drive into the town of San Ignacio.
Here, they must search for flagged walls and help complete an unfinished mural to receive the next clue.
Teams will now drive to Xunantunich, an Ancient Maya archaeological site in the Cayo District.
And here, teams will encounter a Duel Duel! For this Duel Duel, teams will face off in an ancient Maya ballgame. The first team to score two points will receive the next clue. The last losing team must face off against a team of local pros.
This is also the Trigger Point for this Leg of the Race. If any team loses two or more Duel Duels, the U-Turn or Yield will be activated on the next Leg.
After the Duel Duel, teams will find an Intersection. But in a new twist, teams must SWITCH PARTNERS! And complete this task separately!
For this Intersection, teams must search the ruins for large pieces that they will need to assemble a replica of the El Castillo pyramid (Structure A6). Each new Intersected pair will choose a color and must find all corresponding pieces to use.
Once approved, the Intersected teams can run to the Pit Stop somewhere amongst the ruins where they will wait for their partners to finish.
Only when teams have reunited can they step on the Mat. It is the Intersected teams’ decision if they want to step on the Mat together or if it is every team for themselves.
The first team or teams to step on the Mat will win P200,000 courtesy of Shell V-Power Nitro+. (Shared prize if there is a tie.)
The last team or teams will… NOT be eliminated as this is the first Non-Elimination Leg of the Race. The last team or teams will need to choose a Non-Elimination Penalty Envelope to reveal the penalty that will be assessed on the next Leg.
A brand new country! Yay!
So I think there’s definitely enough here for two full Legs in Belize. The highlight is obviously everything at Xunantunich. But the best logistical situation to get teams from Buenos Aires into Belize involves the flight via Dallas getting into Belize at 1:12pm. There can definitely be a Leg that includes the Swing Bridge task and the Detour and then maybe one more task like a Road Block for a full Leg.
Then everything on the 2nd day is a separate Leg. We can even make this a Zero-Hour Pit Stop or SuperLeg. But for our purposes, it’s just a very, VERY full Leg.
So starting from the beginning, we need to get teams back to Buenos Aires. So the bus is fine. And this allows us to have the U-Turn vote board in a nice Buenos Aires location. We of course need teams to vote for the U-Turn now to be able to have the Detour early upon their arrival in Belize.
The Swing Bridge task of needing to find the clues under the bridge is good. It was inspired by seeing a YouTube video of a boat going under the very low clearance bridge. It should be fun.
For the Detour, it was originally “Cut it Down or Bundle Up.” Essentially, the Sweet Sugar Detour here was split up. Either teams harvest the sugarcane or teams hop into a large truck and collect enough sugarcane to make 10 large bundles.
Instead, I stumbled upon papaya farms in the area as well. So I thought it would be a nice contrast. Still both are similar tasks, so it’s up to the teams.
Next, we have the overnight rest which is unavoidable for our full Leg. The three minute departures are very insignificant, but just to keep teams on their toes.
Being in Belize, the best thing is to feature its amazing natural wonders. So ziplining through the jungle is a good extra task.
The Road Block is interesting. I honestly have no idea what kind of task to do at the caves though I really want to use the location. It’s just a simple twist on a standard TAR task. This could prove challenging to some teams of course and we want that.
The San Ignacio mural task is just another extra task and it also features some wonderful artwork in the town.
But finally, the highlight of this Leg: Xunantunich. A wonderful location that we will maximize to full effect with these two tasks. First, the Maya ballgame Duel Duel. It’s an obvious Duel Duel. Perfect nod to the site and a very interesting and unique game. The video I found from which that screencap above is from had teams just hitting the ball with their hips across a flat court. In other videos and descriptions of the Maya ballgame, teams had to use their hips to hit the ball into a hoop above on a wall. So I’m not sure which is which. But both would be great to do here. Very challenging.
So my intention with this Intersection was to try and take TAR30’s Partner Swap and make it more exciting and dramatic for the Pit Stop. My ideal version of the Swap would be teams get random draw so it’s not merely swapping partners, but getting a whole new partner. That is, teams aren’t just switching partners. For example, using TAR30, Henry might team up with Jen while Evan will team up with Jessica. Cody would team-up with someone else, etc. That is as opposed to Henry teaming up with Jen and Evan teaming up with Kristi only. If that makes sense.
The drama would be Racers waiting for their partners at the Mat and the tension of teams possibly passing each other as others wait.
But I realized I couldn’t do that here. So maybe in a future TARPHDME, we’ll do it that way. One possibility though is since we do have an Hours of Operation-type situation with the overnight stay, we could choose the new teams in the morning before everyone leaves (sort of like TAR30), but only advise teams that they will be notified when the new pairs must start working together.
Anyway, the puzzle task here is very simple and a recycled task. It does get teams around the ruins which is great. And allows us more opportunity to use our 4K UHD drones of course!
And I usually put Duel Duels at the beginning of Legs. So if you get a Duel Duel at the end of a Leg, you know it’ll be a Non-Elimination or SuperLeg. Lol
Overall, a VERY full Leg that really can be split into two also full Legs. But this is TARPHDME. We pack as many challenges as we can into our Legs. =D