Move one step at a time
by Ashley Thompson
Only five people are left standing by day 30 and not everyone will make it to extraction. If fruit can cause 4 people to leave in 24 hours, what else will the group endure?
But Jake is back. Medics cleared him to continue with the challenge but have to monitor his health every 24 hours. He discloses to the group that Phaedra was next to him screaming in agony and was forced to tap out. While those who are gone are missed, everyone agrees that Jake has been the leader since day 1 so it’s amazing that he’s back with the group. Their new focus is to get food in their stomachs to counteract the infected fruit and to prepare for extraction. Lucky for them they have a slingshot and Stacey. Unluckily enough, it’s one tiny bird for everyone to share. Mmmm… tastes like chicken.
After 24 hours the medics check Jake out and he complains about joint stiffness and they notice eye jaundice. This means his liver is having difficulty and he needs to be treated. The medic tells him it is no longer only his decision and he should end his journey. Reluctant to agree, Jake taps out. And everyone else sobs. Now there are 4.
Their extraction will be four miles of lion territory to the Lebombo Mountains. Yet some of the group still aren’t getting along so extraction may not be their biggest hurdle. Darrin feels that good amount of protein will make the group happy again. They come across a cape buffalo, one of the big five in Africa. The big five are the most dangerous animals to humans. And this animal is massive so it would be intimidating to see him stand his ground in front of you. He will definitely not be dinner. Instead they run towards a monitor lizard that walks on water. “In the future, with a monitor lizard like that, get it with a bow before you spook it.” Good advice, Darrin… except you were holding the bow and not running. So, yeah.
At night they get to hear stampedes and lions eating water buffalo and roars, right outside their camp. At least someone in Africa is eating. Alyssa decides to create snares on the main game trail while Steven decides to try and spear a warthog in its’ den. His plan is to crawl in and smoke it out of its’ hole with flaming elephant crap and stab it when it gets tangled up in the net trying to escape. And it works! Except it escapes. The group must feel like warthogs because the lions are watching them and male lions can close a distance of 50 yards in 2.5 seconds. Not to be outdone by the big game and not quite giving up, Steven turns his sights on catfish. He turns his spears into fishing poles and catches several fish for his group, totally 1500 calories each. Extraction here they come! If the lions don’t get them in the night, first. They are literally feet away from their camp, roaring and pacing. Leaving couldn’t be more important.
Somehow they make it. 40 days of hunger and thirst and fear, naked. So here’s your private plane to get you the off out! There weren’t very many seats on that flight. It makes you wonder how many they expected to make it to the end?
The final four get an XLR rating increased from 3.9 to 5.8 because of Steven’s catfish dinner but leave with an 8.3. Alyssa lost 33 pounds, Stacey lost 39 pounds, Steven lost 48 pounds, and Darrin lost 40 pounds. “Despite everything, I had a killer time!” ~Steven
Photo by: Discovery Channel