Yesterday (Sunday) morning, I woke up at the ungodly hour of 5++ am to get ready for a Treasure Hunt competition that was to kick off a few hours later.
I was in a team of 4 with 3 friends/colleagues, and after rounding them all up, we headed off to the starting point of the hunt – the B’Sentral Restaurant at the heart of Brickfields – at about 7 am.
After breakfast (which consisted of mee goreng (fried noodles) and coffee), we received our list of questions/clues, and headed off to begin hunting.
The hunt was organised like this: there were 22 clues, all of which pointed to landmarks or signs or billboards, etc on the road, and when we figure out what they are, we write them down on the answer sheet. Each correct answer bags us 4 points for a maximum of 88 points.
Then we had to decipher two riddles that reveal two items (called ‘treasures’) that we can then purchase from any convenience store (7-11, TMC Bangsar, etc). These were worth 6 points each, which would bring the total (including the points for correct clues) to a nice round 100 points.
Finally, there were three Road Safety questions, which are not worth any points if we get them right, but can cause a deduction of 2 points each if we get them wrong (or if we don’t even attempt them). These questions can be answered with the help of the JPJ road safety guidelines or books you might have bought when you were taking your driving tests.
All my team members (myself included) were novices at these kind of hunts, which cannot be said for most of the other participants in the competitions. One team even included Zabrina, one-half of the famous all-girl winning team of the inaugural season of The Amazing Race Asia.
Needless to say, we weren’t exactly optimistic about our chances of victory. Nevertheless, we still had lots of enthusiasm – which is about all you could really ask for after waking up bright and early on a Sunday morning! 😛
The route for the hunt was clearly described in our clues, so travelling from one place to another wasn’t a problem at all. (The route encompassed parts of Brickfields, Bangsar and PJ). We were also informed that we didn’t really need to alight from the car at any point of the race, since all answers to clues would be clearly visible from inside our vehicles, but we didn’t trust our own eyes, and neither did many other participants, which explained why there were so many marked cars parked haphazardly and sometimes illegally along various points on the route!
Most of the clues tended to involve anagrams, reversing words, and general play on words. For example, one clue (which we got completely wrong – groan!) went something like “Tread softly after a zodiac sign”. The answer was Wisma Leopad, a building at Jln Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, nearby the La Salle Brickfields school. (Leo = zodiac sign, pad = to tread softly. See how this works?)
As novices, we got rather frustrated at our inabilities to sort out some clues, but when we did get some right, needless to say we were PUMPED! There was one road in PJ near the Digital Mall where we simply zoomed through the clues getting every one of them correct (you tend to know when you get the right answer) and we were just bursting with adrenaline – especially when we realised we were ahead of Zabrina’s team… heheh… Take that TARA winners! (Just kidding, we’re all big fans of ya, Z and JJ!)
The race was to last about 3 and a half hours, and any team to check in later than that would have points deducted. As we approached the last half-hour, we still had a few unsolved clues and couple of other iffy answers. Plus we still hadn’t purchased the ‘treasures’. (The road safety questions though were solved very quickly with the help of my JPJ road safety book.)
Since we were running out of time, we decided to just stick the iffy answers in and hope for the best, but the riddles for the treasures were a real humdinger (for us, anyway…).
As it turned out, we had unknowingly been carrying around one of the treasures during the whole hunt – it was a drinks can that was included in our goodie bags! Doh! The other was a fruit juice product that we may well have figured out if we had more time, I guess…
In the end, we scored a total of about 70++ points, thanks to the incorrect treasures as well as having gotten about 5 clues wrong. This despite the organisers awarding bonus points to everyone for one clue that was supposed to point to a sign of a bar/pub/club on Jln Telawi. However, that sign had unfortunately been taken down on the day of the hunt for renovations or something. Let me tell ya, a lot of us wasted a lot of time on that stretch of road trying to figure that one out…
The winners (in fact, the top 3 teams) scored a complete 100 points – the winners being decided on the least distance in kilometres travelled (the odometer of the vehicles were checked before and after the race). You can find a list of the top 7 at this blog.
After lunch and the presentation of the prizes (which also took place at B’Sentral, the prizes being handed out by the OCPD of Brickfields), we headed back home where most, if not all, of us probably crashed straight into bed to catch up on some sleep.
I must say this treasure hunt was a real enjoyable experience for me (and my teammates too, I’m sure), and I look forward to participating in more of such events in the future. It’s good intellectual stimulation, and a great way to participate in some clean, wholesome fun with your friends and/or family.
Bring on the wordplay!
(Note: for the curious, the grand prize was RM1000 in cash, while the entry fee was RM60 per person.)
P.S. Galaxie magazine is organizing a treasure hunt called Hunt For The Bounty, in conjunction with the upcoming release of Pirates Of The Caribbean 3: At World’s End. It will be held on Thursday, 26th May at Cineleisure, The Curve and Ikano Power Centre from 10am to 11pm. For more info, grab the latest copy of Galaxie magazine!