Yes, this is the winning team of the first MINI Scavenger Hunt organized by Autogermana MINI in Puerto Rico on September 17, 2006. Our team name was 'Los MINImalistas', but were not minimal in the amount of points we gathered. A total of 197 pts, 22 more than the second place. It all started by meeting with Gino at our company's parking at 9:20am. Arrived at Autogermana MINI at 9:35am where we signed up our team and received two bottles of 'fountain of youth' water and a kit with tools to gather things during the hunt. At 10:20am the organizers of the event gave us further instructions on how to use the tools, rules of engagement and then took us to our cars to start the hunt. All of us aligned our cars in a queue in front of the dealer. While there, we received the list of items, trivia questions and clues to places where we had to take pictures of the car and one of the team members. Gino, my resourceful wingman, fell victim of anxiety and as soon as we were handed out our list he started to shout 'Go! Go! Go!'. I saw no cars moving so I told him that no cars were moving and he said 'the girl handed out the list and said good luck! This thing has just started! Go ahead before people start leaving!'. That made sense to me, so I decided to leave the queue. To my surprise and shame, as I left the queue, I started hearing some shouting and saw my Motoring Advisor, Andrés, waving a signal to turn around and fall back into place in the queue... Thanks Gino... After getting back in place, there were some video shooting, some photos and THEN they gave the signal to start the hunt.
First photo, 'The ruins of the home of the first governor of the island during Spanish occupation': Caparra.
Then headed to Old San Juan where Gino went to a store to get some items in the list, like a big towel that had printed 'Puerto Rico' and a small Coquí made in ceramic. While he was doing that, I was going around in circles through the streets of Old San Juan with other MINI's that had their co-pilots doing item hunting through the stores too.
From there, we headed to get some items in San Patricio and our company's office. Went to Hato Rey to La Milla de Oro to get a photo of the car with the big digital clock from Banco Popular Building showing the time to be 1:11pm. After that we decided to sacrifice our desire for the bonus photo of La Coca waterfall in El Yunque (10 pts) to go get more items at Gino's House, we got the photo with a pregnant woman in the car (thanks Nina and Matías!) and then headed to Piñones to get some items. In Piñones the traffic was so horrible that we ended up deciding to give up and get back to the dealer because it was almost 3pm, the arrival time to the dealer by the rules. We were like the second or third team to arrive. Handed out the items, showed the photos, gave the answers to the trivia questions, explained the idea behind our team name and Gino sang two impromptu verses related to MINI and the scavenger hunt.
As I was driving, I was not aware of the amount of points made/missing. Gino told me that we missed some stuff and we could not have more than 130 pts, so when they announced that third place made 170 pts I was not even remotely thinking in being second place, less winning! Before calling out the winners, the people of Autogermana MINI were doing a raffle of some items and some of the participants were joking about raffling off a set of black 18" John Cooper Works rims with Run-flat tires that were on display at the dealer. After the raffle was over and were going to announce the winners of third, second and first places, the people of Autogermana MINI changed the first place prize from $500 in Motoring Gear to the set of JCW rims!
As they say, the rest is history and here we are Gino and I receiving our first place medals! And just there beside me a little spot of the JCW rims! It was a really good experience for us, all the other participants and the people on the street that stop by to ask if we were on a competition because they had seen so many MINI's in their area. An aura of 'having fun' surrounded those in contact with the event, whether being part of the teams or being an outside observer. The people of Autogermana MINI and the organizers did great in their first event. Congratulations and thanks for making this event. Hope there are more to come... like... for christmas? And for the next scavenger hunt... we're defending champions!