TAR All-Stars: Episode 6

If you’ve ever considered applying to be on The Amazing Race, this episode might make you reconsider — unless spending several consecutive days in African airports is your idea of a good time.

Teams left the Pit Stop late at night and were forced to wait until 5 a.m. for the ticket counter to open at the Maputo, Mozambique, airport. There was only one direct flight that day from Maputo to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania — the racers’ next destination — and that flight was full.

While all of the other teams elected to wait on standby for the 8:30 a.m. flight, Charla & Mirna took a risk and caught a flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, in the hopes that they might be able to get a connection at that (larger) airport.

With the help of an airport employee named Cristo — who was gracious enough to kneel down and look Charla in the eye when answering her questions — the cousins were able to board a 9:55 a.m. flight to Dar Es Salaam.

Meanwhile, none of the teams was able to board the direct flight out of Maputo. They were told to try to get tickets for an 11:45 a.m. flight from Maputo to Johannesburg on South African Airlines, which connected with an Air Tanzania flight from Johannesburg to Dar Es Salaam. Unfortunately, the connecting flight was fully booked, so teams would again risk going standby.

The SAA ticket counter didn’t open until 9:45, and Joe & Bill and Teri & Ian dutifully lined up to wait for it. But the other teams creeped upstairs to the SAA office, where they were able to convince an employee to sell them the tickets to Johannesburg and place them first on the standby list for the flight to Dar Es Salaam. (Who knew Dar Es Salaam was such a popular place?)

All of the teams made it to Johannesburg successfully, but only the four teams that booked their tickets at the upstairs SAA office were cleared to board the 1:15 p.m. flight to Dar Es Salaam. The four teams boarded the plane, and Joe & Bill and Teri & Ian were left to curse their rotten luck.

But just then, luck took a turn in their favor. Eric & Danielle had mistakenly been given someone else’s seats, and they were removed from the plane. As Dani cried, an airline employee assured them that the best he could do was put them on the standby for the SAA flight to Dar Es Salaam at 9:55 the following morning — a full day behind Charla & Mirna.

The employee also made the same offer to the Guidos and Teri & Ian.

At 2:52 p.m., Charla & Mirna’s flight arrived in Tanzania. There they took a taxi to the ferry terminal, where they took a number for the first boat to Zanzibar. The trip would take several hours in a traditional open-air dhow, and, due to an impending storm, the launch was postponed until 5:30 a.m. the next morning.

The Air Tanzania flight with Ozzy & Danny, Dustin & Kandice, and Uchenna & Joyce landed at 6:30 p.m. Ozzy & Danny got seats on the 5:30 a.m. boat with Charla & Mirna. The second boat, carrying Uchenna & Joyce and the Beauty Queens, would leave three hours later, at 8:30 a.m.

Early the next morning, as the lead teams set off on their sea voyage, Mirna mused, "It’s like the ancient time." In keeping with the ancient ways, Ozzy quipped, "We’re gonna trade you for food now."

Mirna, not getting the joke, flatly said, "Okay," before pausing and asking, "Can I have some of the food?"

When the second boat launched, later that morning, Uchenna also mused about ancient traditions. He told his blonde competitors, "500 years ago, they took the slaves this very same path, ladies. Now it’s your turn!"

While Uchenna, Ozzy, and Danny were contemplating how to use their female companions as barter items, the last three teams were still trying to get out of Johannesburg. Because of their traumatic removal from the plane the day before, Eric & Danielle were give the only two available seats on the 9:55 flight.

Luckily, the Guidos and Teri & Ian were able to get seats on an Air Malawi flight to Dar Es Salaam at noon. As they boarded the plane, Bill exclaimed, "I’ve never been so happy to leave a country in my life!"

Back on Zanzibar, the lead teams found a clue giving them their choice of Detour: Solve It or Schlep It. In Solve It, teams walked to a nearby hotel to complete a 62-piece puzzle.

For Schlep It, teams walked one mile to a lumber yard, where they loaded two 50-pound logs onto a cart. Then they pushed the cart to a shipyard one mile away.

Both the cousins and the Cha Cha Chas chose Solve It, and they completed their puzzles relatively quickly, with the Chas just a few minutes in front of Charla & Mirna. Their clue sent them 15-miles to the Maasai village of Kikungwi. Ozzy & Danny squandered the small lead they had, when they at a roadside stand to buy fruit.

At Kikungwi, teams found a Roadblock. The task required one team member to learn how to properly throw a rungu: a stick with a knobby end used for hunting. Once the chosen member destroyed a clay target with the rungu, the team would receive its next clue.

Mirna broke her target first, and she celebrated with a cartwheel and much screaming. The clue sent them to the next Pit Stop, at the Old Fort in Stone Town.

When they arrived in first place for the second time in a row, Phil Keoghan told Charla & Mirna that they had each won a catamaran. In unison, the cousins asked, "Huh? What is that?" When Phil explained that it was a sailboat, there was, again, more screaming.

When the second boat arrived on Tanzania, the teams split up. Uchenna & Joyce had a much easier time with the puzzle, and made it through the Roadblock, to the Pit Stop, and even served their 30-minute penalty from the previous leg without seeing the Beauty Queens.

Dustin & Kandice chose Schlep It, and kept telling themselves that they’d made the smart choice even as they spilled the contents of their lumber cart onto the road. It was dark by the time they finished, but they were happy with fourth place.

It was already dark out when Eric & Danielle arrived at Zanzibar. They completed their puzzle, and then Danielle succeeded in breaking the clay target by hitting the post it was tied to and knocking it to the ground. They finished in fifth place.

The final dhow didn’t even leave Dar El Salaam until 8 p.m., so it was plenty late when the last two teams arrived. The Guidos gave some thought as to which Detour to choose, but decided it was best to keep an eye on the competition. So, they stayed with Teri & Ian and completed the puzzle.

As the Guidos methodically placed their fish-shaped pieces, Teri & Ian floundered. By the time they realized that the pieces were double-sided, the Guidos were nearly finished. They got their clue and headed out into the early morning light to find the Roadblock.

Bill was able to finish the Roadblock before Teri & Ian even arrived, and the Guidos reached the finish mat in sixth place. By the time they finished the leg, Teri & Ian had made peace with their elimination. "We had fun," said Teri. "We’re sorry to be eliminated."

Next week, All-Stars is back for two hours of Dani freaking out about something. And Charla tries to walk in a full suit of armor.