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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day One Pays Off Despite Lack of Sleep

The cure for jet lag is to have too much to do and not enough time in which to do it. That sums up our first day in Europe, which we spent in Switzerland.

In the span of 12 hours after arriving in Geneva, we were faux waterskiing, kicked off a train, invited to a wine cave, got lost in the rolling countryside amongst the grapes, took a dip in Lac Leman, where we saw nude bathers and got scolded for putting our feet up once we finally got to rest.

This is just a day in the life of a Competitourist. I can't say that if I were planning my own vacation I would do some of the things I've done or see some of the sites I've seen. But that's the beauty of this game; it brings the adventure to you.

The highlight of our day was the wine trail in the hills above the town of Lausanne. Unfortunately, "trail" is an overstatement. We were lucky to find our way along the path, which sometimes consisted of following the paved road or cut through the vineyards on narrow, crumbling stone pathways.

Along the way, we were tasked with finding a tracasset. As we found out, they are three-wheeled vehicles used in the vineyards for transportation. Every two years, there is a tracasset world championship held in the tiny vilalge of Epesses in which participants decorate their tracassets and race down the steep roadways.

The next thing we looked for was the River of Hell. We were supposed to explain how the river got its moniker, but everyone had a different story. When we reached the spot where the river spills into Lake Geneva, we found a group of nude bathers. As I say in my video: "Look there's a bum, and I'm not talking about a homeless person!"

Whether gratuitous nudity had anything to do with it, Team Serendipity took the lead after the first day with 80 points. More than likely, it had to do with the fact that we picked challenges with a higher risk/reward and according to the judges, it paid off.

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