Leg 18.08 – “Did I read that right, or did I just insult them?”
The Amazing Race Philippines: DryedMangoez Edition continues as teams begin the 8th Leg of the Race when they find out their next destination is… Beirut, Lebanon!
All teams will be on the same EgyptAir flight, via Cairo, arriving in Beirut at 11am. Upon arrival in Beirut, teams must make their way to Zaitunay Bay and search for their next clue along the marina.
In this modified Switchback (!) to season 1 of (the REAL) Amazing Race Philippines, teams will be given a list of specific yachts in the harbor. Each has a nautical flag. Teams must spot all ten nautical flags on the ten yachts and decode them to letters. They must get the letters approved to receive the next clue.
Keeping the letters with them until further notice, teams must now make their way to Sursock Museum for their next clue.
Teams will then have to find their next clue amongst the several original Barbar locations in Hamra.
Barbar first opened in the midst of the Lebanese Civil War. And now, it is one of the biggest fast food chains in Lebanon. It is here where teams will encounter the Detour: In the Kitchen or On the Streets.
In In the Kitchen, teams will first learn how to make manoushe, a cheese and herb-topped flatbread baked in a pizza oven. They must then fill three orders from customers. After their manoushe is fully cooked and approved, teams must then learn how to make the perfect shawarma including how to properly slice the thin strips of chicken from the spit. Once they’ve fulfilled another three orders correctly, they will receive the next clue.
In On the Streets, teams will instead be delivering 10 different orders from Babar to different people sitting at any of the local cafes along Hamra Street. But teams can only identify the customers using a physical description of their appearance or their location and companions. If teams deliver the food to the wrong person, they will have to go back and wait for another set of prepared orders. Once they have delivered the food to the correct people, teams will receive the next clue.
Teams must now make their way on foot to the American University of Beirut.
And here, teams will find a Double U-Turn board!
After checking in at the U-Turn, teams will open the next clue which reveals the Road Block: Who’s prepared to take on some prose?
Lebanese-American poet and writer Khalil Gibran is the third-best-selling poet of all time, only behind Shakespeare and Laozi. For this Road Block, teams must memorize a passage from his most famous work, The Prophet, and perform it for the students. If the professor approves of their performance, they will receive the next clue.
This is also the Trigger Point for this Leg of the Race. If any team gets the thumbs up on their 3rd attempt, the U-Turn or Yield will be activated on the next Leg.
Teams must now make their way to the ruins of the Roman Baths and search the area for their next clue.
And that clue tells teams to refer to the letters they obtained from the nautical flags. Teams will have to unscramble the letters to reveal a name: Rene Moawad. And that is their clue for the location of the Pit Stop.
Teams will have to figure out that location is the Rene Moawad Garden. Though the garden, renamed in honor of Lebanese president Rene Moawad, is more commonly known to locals as Sanayeh Garden.
This is the Pit Stop for this Leg of the Race.
The first team to check in here will win P200,000 courtesy of Shell V-Power Nitro+.
The last team to check in here WILL be eliminated.
So I think we can have a great franchise-first visit to Lebanon. The tasks all here are pretty straightforward, but do just enough to get teams interacting with locals and highlighting some culture.
Of course, much better tasks can be found, especially more culturally-significant tasks. But I think we have an alright Leg here. It’s possible we could have two Legs in Lebanon. Though *spoiler alert!*, this is the only Leg this time.
First up, the nautical flags was a last minute addition to help fill out the Leg. Beirut has undergone some big developments since the war and showing off this fancy marina area should be nice. I had to think about what to have teams do here. So I ended up just recycling TARPH1 (the real! one!!) and the infamous “Nautical phrase? Ano yon?!”
Next is the Detour and it is focused solely on Barbar. It’s a must-visit on all the Beirut travel guides. So why not?! It’s a great way for teams to really interact with the locals and get themselves immersed in everyday life. I think as presented here, both tasks are equally time consuming and tedious. The In the Kitchen side of the Detour should especially take lots of time.
But the fun part of the On the Streets Detour is having to identify the customers by a written description. Like for example: “A woman with dark hair wearing a red coat.” Or “A couple sitting in a cafe with flowers on the table.” Or “A family with a mother, father, two young children.”
Should be fun!
Next, we have teams with a basic memorize and perform task. But of course it will feature a famous Lebanese-American writer as a nod.
Finally, we hope teams will struggle with having to unscramble the letters and then later having to figure out “Rene Moawad” refers to the park. It could make for an exciting, chaotic ending! Yay!