At the Venice station, at 8:18 AM, the Alpi train pulls in and everybody jumps off. They head for the Googly Bridge and pull the clue, and it's a Detour. The best thing about a Detour, of course? The Exposition Hands. Ah, how I've missed you. And, of course, Phil, who appears, strolling alongside a canal in the Big Yum Jacket to explain the two tasks, as well as the pros and cons of each. The choices in this Detour are Waterway and Pathway. In Waterway, you climb in a gondola and direct the gondolier, using only a map, to a little plaza. You are not allowed, in this option, to ask anyone -- including the gondolier -- for directions. In Pathway, you travel to the plaza on foot, but you're allowed to ask for directions. In a lot of ways, Pathway is the superior option, but it's hard to pass up an opportunity to see Venice in a gondola. This is really a third type of Detour to go alongside Reckless/Chicken and Tortoise/Hare -- it's sort of Salad/Dessert. Walking is a Salad; a gondola is Dessert. In theory, you always try to choose whatever you can finish first, but if it's hard to tell which is faster, it's hard not to pick the one that's cooler. Bike/Punt in Cambridge was like this, too.
Like fourth-graders everywhere, the teams have a hard time saying no to Dessert, and most of them immediately go for the gondolas. Millie and Chuck are at the back of the pack at the boats, and they get nervous about the number of teams that are now in boats ahead of them. Looking at a map, they decide that they can hoof it to the plaza, and they take off. For the gondola teams, navigating follows, except for Monica and Sheree, who simply tell their gondolier to follow everybody else. Unsurprisingly, Josh declares that he knows exactly how to get there. For he is Guy Who Understands The Race!
Dave and AirSteve find themselves floating along beside Josh and DadSteve, just behind Amanda and Chris. Josh and DadSteve have a wiry, thin gondolier, whereas Dave and AirSteve have a giant, appliance-like gondolier. "You went for the skinny guy," AirDave calls over to Josh. "We got Rudy; he's built like a semi." Hee. Rudy and the Thin Man proceed to engage in a little bit of a gondola-off, or so it appears, and Chris admiringly hollers back that Rudy is doing a good job handling Dave and AirSteve and their "two heavy asses." "Get close enough, Rudy, we'll kick his ass," AirSteve says. "Oh my God," Josh laments as Rudy commences ass-kicking, "that guy's passing us with Steve and Dave in his thing."