Monday 5 Nov, 2007

Amazing Race returns

The Amazing Race—our favorite TV show—hit the airwaves again last night. No television show does a better job of capturing the thrill of international travel like The Amazing Race.

Enthusiastic people—young and old—getting excited about each new destination and learning bits and pieces of history and culture are a great testament to the power of travel—and they make for some truly entertaining TV.

For some initial impressions of last night’s episode, continue reading below (warning: spoilers ahead) …

Normally, the first episode of a race is a get-to-know-you. It’s usually too soon to formulate likes and dislikes or have much of a rooting interest. Last night was different—and it was all good.

Ari of best friends Ari & Staella acted like an a$$ a jerk from the get-go, talking in his intro about how he was going to back-stab a hundred people if he had to. Then he went on to steal another team’s cab at the first airport stop in Shannon, Ireland. Ironic justice prevailed, though, as an ultra-stubborn donkey did Ari and Staella in and they were eliminated in last place. Azaria & Hendekea, a promising brother-sister team, finished first.

The teams spent most of the episode in Ireland, scurrying around some pretty picturesque places—gorgeous green lands and impressively rugged coastlines. The highlight was a tandem bicycle ride across the swirling North Atlantic seas. With one team member on the bike, pedaling along a high wire, the other person dangled about eight feet below, swaying from side to side 200 feet about the ocean. Terrifyingly great!

The racers also visited Teampall Bheanain, believed to be the smallest church in the world; Cleggan Farm, where the donkeys determined the outcome; and Connemara Heritage Center, the Pit Stop, which Phil said is a tribute to Ireland’s agricultural past.

The Amazing Race is off to great start. We can’t wait to see where it goes next week.