Tuesday dawned crisp and cold when the cow and I were already well on our way to O R Tambo International- the instructions we had said to head for the Woolworths and find the Ford representative.
We knew we needed an overnight bag, that we would be driving the new Ford Figo, that we would be flying somewhere at some point during the day and that we would be home about 24 hours later.
And that was all we knew! Where we were going and how we were going to get there was a mystery! This was the first leg of The Amazing Race – Ford Figo Style!
Once we met the rest of our competitors and Mr Figo (as we dubbed him) outside the Woollies at OR Tambo, we immediately set off for the Gautrain where we were issued with blue envelopes containing cash for each of us to buy a one-way gold card ticket to Sandton. The Gautrain is fabulous, I’m a big fan and it was Anelle’s first time! Of course the Gautrain got us to Sandton very quickly and we then made our way to the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel where we were met by Ford execs and issued with lanyard name tags. Over a buffet breakfast we were told what the point of the race was and what the rules were, before Nokia did a presentation and issued us with Nokia goodie bags! You know how I love a goodie bag, bunnies! The bags contained either a Nokia C7 or a Nokia N8 and a whole lot of attachments to make their easier for us- Bluetooth earpieces, a Bluetooth speaker for the car, a plastic phone case and a bracket to mount the phone on the dash!
The Twitter hashtag for the rally is #FordFigoRally (the race ends this Friday) and Anelle and I quickly tagged ourselves #TeamCupcakeCow after christening the Nokia C7 we were given as “CupcakeCow”. Another pair of drivers called themselves #TeamJustCurious! There were a lot of Twitter users on this first leg and it made for some entertaining tweets with none of us wanting to give away any clues! And I got to meet some truly awesome people! The twits I was racing with- @Anelle472 (my team mate), @I_envyLepito33, @FHMSouthAfrica, @PulpOnline, @MaBlerh, @JustCuriousZA, @denphat and @JUCYAfrica!
So Anelle was the navigator for the day so she very quickly got down to working out how the Nokia worked. This was a challenge since we’re both out-an-out BB sluts! We also are self-confessed social media sluts which proved to be an entertaining idea for some people. Had I known I was going to be interviewed on camera I woulda put some make up on and lost about 15kg… hells bells!
Anyhoodle, after signing forms saying we’d be responsible for any fines or damage incurred we were given our car keys and our first clue! In the basement parking lot of the Radisson we found car #1, a Ford Figo 1.4TDCi Ambiente!
We really battled with the map feature on the C7 and ended up phoning Anelle’s hubby and giving him the coordinates so he could tell us where we were supposed to go! The first clue took us to a Ford dealership on William Nicol where we had to do a 10 point safety check before we were given our next clue, and Anelle tried to have a cigarette before I drove away from her!
From there we headed for WITS where we had to photograph someone from the Figo’s target market standing next to our car, and finding a student was a mission ‘coz they were all in a hurry to get back to class! Who knew students were so diligent!
Then it was off to another Ford dealership near Eastgate mall- after a forked up detour via Marlboro road thanx to the bloody C7 map- where we had to answer questions aout the Figo before we were given our next clue and a Garmin GPS! I was very relieved to hear we weren’t the only team battling with the Nokia’s GPS function!
From there we set off for Harrismith and encountered our second traffic jam of the day on the N3 trying to get out of Joburg! Little did we know this would be a trend for TeamCupcakeCow for the day…
On arrival in Harrismith we were given the task of measuring the capacity of the window washer bottle using a measuring jug, a pipe and a syringe… blow that for a bag of marbles! Anelle had read the car’s manual on the trip down and she knew it was 2.5L! No soapy mouthwash for us, thank goodness!
Then we were given our detour, which was to find a monument that someone had built to his heroic son. Whilst Anelle fought with the C7 maps, I Googled it and found a link to van Reenen’s Pass’s “Littlest Church”! The knucklehead and I had stopped there once before on our road trip so finding it would be no problem for me! Off we go just before 4pm, only to get held up for just under an hour in another bloody traffic jam! A truck had lost its load and they closed the highway to clear it up! Urgh! We took pictures and chatted and looked at the scenery and Anelle made the most of the opportunity to have a relaxed cigarette! We finally got moving and took a picture of car #1 in front of The Littlest Church as we had to do so we could MMS the picture and get our next set of coordinates. Then we were off to a Ford dealership in Maritzburg and we were pretty sure we were last by this stage, considering the time wed spent on waiting on the N3…
On the way there we were looking at Twitter and the other teams were showing their fuel usage- our was on 519km completed and 290km left in the tank! Phenomenal!
Once in Maritzburg we were given a killer mathematical brain teaser to complete before we could get our next clue and I wanted to die! I got given boobs people! I did not get given a maths brain! Thank goodness they took pity on us because it was late and gave us most of the answers! Another team had been given the GPS from hell, whom they named “Regina” and opted to follow us to our next stop, which turned out to be a Ford dealership in Ballito! There we were stuffing our faces with some hot snacky things because we hadn’t eaten all day and someone asked if we had eaten all our car snacks!!?! There was a little cooler bag in the boot filled with water, snacks, cooldrink and sweets and we hadn’t found it!
Major facepalm moment people!
We then had loads of photos taken before heading for a garage in Ballito to refill our sealed fuel tanks for the next competitors, and were then sent to the Caledon Hotel and Spa for our overnight stop and some proper grub.
Team Cupcake Cow came 4th overall with a fuel economy rate of 5.2kmL/100km (certainly not aided by spending 30 minutes in 2nd gear early in the race), and whilst everyone was made to drink a shot of some kind as a forfeit- like the guy from Ford who came up with the math quiz- Anelle and I incurred absolutely no penalties on the race which we are very proud of- and had to do a shot as a penalty instead!
Anelle and I are both more than impressed with the Ford Figo! It’s comfortable, it accelerates easily, it has fantastic fuel economy and it goes like a bomb! It handles much better than I expected such a lightweight car to do too! Naturally it’s noisier than a petrol engine, but it certainly doesn’t sound like a tractor- not by a long shot!
On Wednesday morning we were shattered when we were flown back to Johannesburg from King Shaka Airport the next morning, and we had the time of our lives! This little roadtrip was a wonderful treat for a couple of petrol heads like Anelle and I!
Thank you Ford, Nokia and Ogilvy for a phenomenal 24 hours!
You might also want to read FIGO’S AMAZING RALLY by JUCY and Sabotaged At The Ford Figo Rally by just CURIOUS