Iquique, Chile, known as the city of eternal sunshine, is the start of the second leg and having come in first on the last leg, Tim & Marie receive their clue at 2:52am and are to make their way to the deck of the Museo Corbeto Esmeralda, a replica of a famous Chilean warship, where the officer of the day will post their next clue. The ship itself is easy enough to find on foot but once there they find that the ship doesn't open until 7:15am so whatever lead they had is pretty much toast.
They're followed by Travis & Nicole at 3:02, and then Rowan & Shane at 3:08, Chester & Ephraim at 3:13, Nicky & Kim at 3:14, Ally & Ashley ay 6:20, Leo & Jamal at 4:00, Jason & Amy at 5:17, Tim & Danny at 5:28, and lastly Brandon & Adam at 5:34. Chester & Ephraim have already figured out that wherever they're going is going to be closed so they have no intention of wasting energy running there and Nicky & Kim tend to agree.
When Travis & Nicole meet up with Tim & Marie they use Nicole's birthday as a great reason to give them the Express Pass. Seriously? This is a good reason to get free cake at the restaurant, not the Express Pass on Amazing Race. It doesn't hurt to ask though.
As soon as everyone meets up on the dock Marie goes into her "take charge" mode and tells everyone there are rules and that they need to put their bags in the order they came in, starting a backpack system. Chester says he wants to use his own system, but then he puts his pack down in order anyway. It's funny to watch but you just know that this is putting a target on Marie's back for any future U-Turns. Love the new nickname.
Hang on a minute, if she's Pinky does that make Tim the Brain?
As soon as the ship opens it's every man, woman and child for themselves as they race up onto the ship like vultures on a carcass. Brandon & Adam find the posting board first and are soon crowded by everyone else as they read that they need to repeat the phrase uttered before the sinking of his ship by Chilean National Hero Arturo Prat to the officer on duty. It doesn't tell them where or what the phrase is so now all the teams scatter like rats to find it.
Ally & Ashley leave the ship, followed by Brandon & Adam, to go and ask a local if they know what the phrase is and the guy on the dock tells them "Charge the ship, men."
Brandon & Adam are the first back to the officer and repeat the phrase, in Spanish, to receive their next clue . . . Make your way to the Irlanda Salt Mines to find your next clue. Run, Brandon, run because Ally & Ashley are right on your tail.
Eventually everyone comes to the same conclusion and leaves the ship to ask a local. What a surprise that locals would know stuff the racers don't. I think Wayne and I would have been chatting with the locals long before the boat opened and might have had the answer before we even knew there was a question. Or maybe not, but we are pretty chatty. Anyway, everyone is off the boat in search of a cab . . . let's hope they find a good one.
The first two teams to the clue box get the clue for this leg's Detour; ride bikes across the salt flats to the world's largest supply of sodium chloride and choose between Mining or Brining. In Brining teams must add enough salt to a pool of water until they can comfortably float and read the local newspaper. Mining requires teams to break open boulders of salt until they find one with a clue.
Both legs of the Detour seem easy enough but Brandon & Adam decide they may look good in bathing suits but they're better at smashing stuff so they choose Mining. Both teams are on the bikes and heading across the salt flats. I've never tried riding a mountain bike with a big packpack on but I'm guessing it's a little harder than the Beardo's made it look.
The Afghanimals decide to do Mining because they're not water creatures and catch up to their "wifeys" on the ride to the salt mine, while Travis & Nicole decide to do Brining because it would be nice to relax together on her birthday. Why not. Chester & Ephraim use their weight as an excuse to avoid the mountain of salt it would require for them to float. Jason & Amy also decide to go Mining, even though Jason thinks Brining would be easier.
Remember that need to find a good cab driver when everyone left the ship? Apparently Rowan & Shane decided on another option and picked one who was navigationally challenged. That and the guy spoke no English so there was a bit of a language barrier trying to figure out where the Irlanda Salt Mines were. Eventually they have to find a local to help translate the clue for their driver and they're hopefully back on track.
Brandon & Adam are first at the Mining and start wailing away on a big rock just as Ally & Ashley and Leo & Jamal arrive. Meanwhile, Nicole is having nothing but trouble getting anywhere on her bike and eventually topples over with the weight of her pack. Travis switches bikes with her assuming the problem is the bike but I'm pretty sure the problem is Nicole. Travis says, "just because you're turning 40 today doesn't mean you're supposed to be an old lady." Yeah, that's supportive.
Jason finally convinces Amy that Brining is easier as the NFLers (Chester & Ephraim) arrive at the pit and the IceQueens (Ally & Ashley) decide to switch. Good decision for them because at the rate they were going it would have taken all day to break one rock, better decision for the producers because it meant girls in bikinis . . . a guaranteed ratings boost. Sorry about that but it's true.
Amy changes into her swimsuit while Jason chooses another route and they start hauling bags of salt to the pools. These are 25kg bags (about 50 pounds) and Jason figures 3 or 4 bags should be enough. Not quite. According to Phil's tweet during the show it takes 33 bags to reach the proper brine saturation point. I'm not sure why everyone is walking barefoot on the salt as I'd just take my shoes off before getting in. The last thing you'd want is salt getting into any cuts you have on your feet. That's gonna hurt.
Rowan & Shane are still wandering aimlessly through the landscape in search of the sign for "Irlanda Tres" and realize that they are either very right, or very very lost. Well, we all know the answer to that one. Pinky & the Brain (Tim & Marie) who were in the lead at 2:52 are now seventh to the clue box, followed closely by Nicky & Kim and Tim & Danny who comment that they carry 50 pound sacks all day so the Brining leg should be a breeze. Neither of these guys look like they could lift 50 points, let alone carry it. Still no sign of Rowan & Shane.
Frustrated with the speed of hammering into the rocks, the NFLers decide to just toss them to the ground and it's a much better technique as salt flies everywhere. The Beardos and Afghanimals don't have that option and watch in awe before realizing they better get to it. And get to it they do, with both Brandon & Adam working on the same large crack they get the next clue and maintain their lead. I like these guys and I'm glad they've pulled it together this leg.
Teams must now travel back to Iquique to the bus station and then take a 1,000 mile (24 hour) bus trip from Iquique to the capital of Santiago, Chile. Once there they need to make their way to the Plaza de Armas to find their next clue. The Beardos are followed pretty closely by the Afghanimals, who stopped to watch Ally & Ashley in their bikinis. Focus guys, focus.
When Pinky & the Brain arrive at the pools Pinky notices that the girls are all carrying one bag at a time and realizes that they can make up some time here because she can carry two or three at a time. According to Tim, Marie has "no brake, she has gas pedal only." While she's revving her engine, the Beardos are back in their cab and off to the bus station as the NFLers finally get their clue.
Hey, look who showed up finally. As Rowan & Shane start out on their bikes for the Mining the Afghanimals are passing them coming back and Leo says, "those guys are so screwed." Yeah, that pretty much sums it up, since everyone else is already there and nearly completed. Not their fault they got a lousy cab driver but that definitely sucks when you're in a race. Still, it ain't over until the fat performer sings.
Knowing Spanish is definitely an asset during a race around the world and Brandon's (I think it was him) ability is certainly an asset to their team as they get tickets for the first bus leaving for Santiago at 1:30. Jamal is equally adept as he flirts with the ticket lady and finds out it's a 24 hour ride.
As all the Brining teams start to complete their task Rowan & Shane finally begin and things are not looking good for the performers. Nicky & Kim are the last to complete the Brining and need to hug for warmth. They also hug the work foreman who gives them their clue at about the same time that the Performers find their clue and once again we have a race not to be last.
To make a long story short five teams get on the first bus: the Beardos, the Afghanimals, the NFLers, Jason & Amy, and the ERDocs. When Pinky asks Leo what he's doing he says they're getting on the 12:30 bus just to set her off. Dude, don't poke the bear. The second bus, which leaves at 2:00 has the last five teams: Pinky & the Brain, the IceQueens (which Leo tries to get tickets for on the first bus saying the girls are their wives, nice try), the Oklahomans, Nicky & Kim and finally Rowan & Shane. Or not.
Rowan & Shane find out that the second bus makes a lot of stops on the way and that it arrives 28 hours later so they try to get on a different bus that has fewer stops. The ticket agent tells them there is another bus at 4:00 so they decide to take that one assuming the guy meant it arrives at 4:00, two hours before the other bus. They tell the other teams they couldn't find a different bus but once everyone is on board they wave the driver on and return to the depot only to find that what the guy actually said is that the next bus leaves at 4:00 and arrives at 10:00 which is actually a 30 hour bus ride. That language barrier sucks.
It's never a good idea to leave the pack behind and strike out on your own unless you are sure that's the best choice and in the case it was definitely not the best choice. However, that's a long bus ride and anything can happen in 24 - 30 hours on the road. They certainly hope it happens to another bus, even though they did manage to get on a totally different bus that leaves at 3:00 and arrives somewhere between 7:00 and 8:00, only two hours after the second bus. Big mistake, again.
The first bus arrives and the teams run into a Roadblock: Who's Got The Knack to Pack?
They get to take on the role of a Chilean shoe shiner . . . find a marked shoe shine cart and start by shining the shoes of a waiting customer, then figure out how to correctly pack together the cart and finally return it 6 blocks away to the storage area to receive their next clue. Packing is my forté so I'd have no trouble with this one.
Leo, Nicole and Amy are all quick to get their cart and shine a customers shoes and we see that Leo learned something from the last leg as he rereads the clue to make sure he doesn't miss anything. Smart guy, too bad it doesn't give instructions for packing up the cart. It does however tell him to take everything. Nicole's cart keeps falling apart every time she moves it.
Meanwhile on the second bus Tim discovers that he's friends with Kim's husband and Pinky tells the girls that they like them and are definitely considering them for the second Express Pass. It's good to be considered but better to have that pass.
Leo gets to the storage locker first but his cart is packed all wrong so they send him away and he has to repack it. It could be worse, he could have forgotten something. Chester's was packed right and he gets the next clue, followed immediately by Leo who managed to repack correctly.
Teams must now make their way to the Cascadas de las Animas nature preserve, the Pit Stop for this leg of the race. All they need to do is find Phil in the middle of a hanging bridge, how hard could it be. The NFLers and the Afghanimals are in a race for first and once again it's up to their cab selection. The first team to arrive is Leo & Jamal but there seems to be some confusion with their cab driver when he says "this is all?" The Afghanimals race off to find Phil, only to hear those dreaded words "you're the first team to arrive, however . . . " That's never good. They need to go back and settle their cab bill before they can be checked in.
That mistake allows Chester & Ephraim to be the second team to arrive but, even though they'll take it, they are officially Team Number 1. They also win a trip for two to Turks & Caicos for 6 nights VIP treatment at a resort. Nice. This is the second leg of the race and once again the first team to arrive has screwed up and made a mistake which cost them.
After going back and paying their cabbie the rest of his fare Leo & Jamal are Team Number 2 but they are not happy with each other and they start arguing on the mat about what went wrong and who's responsible and when Leo asks "are you an enemy or a partner?" Jamal answers with, "right now I'm an enemy," and Phil interjects with "That's not gonna work, you're a team." Not so much right now Phil. If they don't learn from this they won't be around much longer to fight over it.
The Beardos arrive and dance around Phil and Brandon is so happy he smacks Phil on the ass. I'm sure there's a rule about that "Don't Touch Phil" Brandon & Adam are officially Team Number 3. Nice work boys. Nicole & Travis are Team 4, and Jason & Amy are Team 5.
With everyone from the first bus having already landed on the mat the second bus pulls into Santiago and the next four teams are off in search of their shoe shine cart. Pinky gets her cart and starts shining, as do Danny, Nicky and Ashley. Finding their marked carts is pretty easy, even in the dark, you just look for the race colors. The last bus arrives and Rowan and Shane are back in the race having caught up to the second bus.
I don't know whether Pinky is just really bad at shining shoes or if her customer is a little pickier than most, but she was not getting those shoes shined to his level of perfection. Ashley and Danny manage to get less picky customers and start packing up their carts while Rowan runs around looking for a shoe shine person. Uh oh, here we go again. Rowan, remember rule number one? Read the clue, don't paraphrase it.