The eastern sky is just beginning to lighten in Li Jiang, China, when the first train pulls in at 5:38 AM. Ron & Christina, currently (and decisively, if briefly) in first place, hop off and grab a van-cab outside the station. "My dad's making a pit stop to get warm Chinese buns," Christina explains to us. Ron says he grew up with them as a breakfast staple, and they visit a street stall, where they're just coming out of the steamer. They get them and go, putting a small dent in their 86-minute lead. "Now my dad's satisfied," Cristina says, rather optimistically as it will turn out. They get dropped off at some shuttle bus stop out in the country, only to find that even though there's a bus sitting there with an Amazing Flag in its windshield and its headlights on, it won't leave until 8:00 AM. They get on a marked shuttle to wait for 8:00. And a driver.
Back in Kunming, it's 6:00 AM and Kent and Vyxsin return to the airport and buy plane tickets to Li Jiang, on what I assume is the same 7:00 AM flight that everyone else passed up in favor of the overnight train. Suddenly Vyxsin's passport turns up missing. They run back to the counter where they got the plane tickets, Kent lecturing, "I asked you, do you have your passport? And you said yes." Maybe so, but she seems to be literally worse than useless during this leg (which isn't even halfway over yet). Sure enough, when they get back to the ticket counter, it's right there where she left it. She grabs it and waves it triumphantly at the camera. "Vyxsin, I'm going to shoot you," Kent informs her calmly as she runs on ahead. "I'm going to shoot you. I'm going to shoot you." But they manage to get on the plane, presumably avoiding any other mishaps or getting arrested for mentioning shooting while in an airport.
Time-lapse daylight breaks over the mountains. Jaime and Cara are the first team on the second train to arrive at the base of the mountain where Ron and Christina have been waiting, and Cara at least is happy to find the marked shuttle bus. "Now we're just waiting time for all the other teams to catch up," Christina carps, like that's unusual. Margie and Luke also climb on, followed by Kisha and Jen. The Globetrotters and Team Asperger's seem to have shared a TAR15 van cab there, and also arriving are the Cowboys and Gary and Mallory. So that's everyone on the first shuttle, except one team. Now who was that again? "Kent and Vyxsin are making me feel good, "Mallory says, which is the first time anyone has ever said that about them.