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J114 - Sunday, February 7: Montalto di Castro - Ladispoli

73.58km – 9H38’
Altitude : 18m
The sun is back – Smiles are back: it’s the byword of the day.
As soon as he starts, Serge seems at ease and everything goes well on the 3 kms of the SS1, with the van behind and in front the light vehicle of Marc, who joined us to take some pictures in Italy.
I have been stressed since yesterday, in anticipation of Marc’s arrival on one hand and the arrival of René on the other.  But once again, everything goes well, with the exception of a 90 minute delay for René’s departure from Lyon.  Brigitte and Roger meet him at the entrance to Rome.  They have our sincere thanks because more than being visitors to the European Union Race, they are an active part of the caravan and the team.
René, The great return: for how long?  God only knows! After a 3 week absence, we are overjoyed to have him back: for the past week, Serge has asked me every day « when is René due to arrive?”
Today our itinerary is not complicated and we go through only one town: Civitavecchia.  It’s Arlette’s and Daniel’s last day together so they are a duo in the “green submarine;”  Thomas and Marc are in the light car as scouts, and for pictures and to guide the dream team; and René  though just arrived is already in the thick of things because he and I in the camper do a reconnaissance in Rome.  This Sunday the city is deserted and it’s almost a pleasure to pass near the Vatican and then drive to the Coliseum, which is truly magnificent in the sunshine.  
The sunshine is brilliant and there is a hellish wind: Serge has a headache, asks for his sun glasses and immediately becomes a handsome hidalgo (this remark concerns only me) and off he goes, hair trailing in the wind, looking glib and taking in everything around him.  Arlette says “ Serge is fine today” and as a matter of fact he takes 20 minutes less today and even though the road is less hilly he stops several times to eat, whereas yesterday he walked while he ate.  I fight to get him to eat, especially filling things like pasta, and to take his time and sit down but there are times when I feel like I’m preaching in the desert…..
Occasionally, he does listen to me so I will continue to repeat myself.
Tomorrow: Rome entrée par la Via Di Boccea et sortie par la Via Casilina

Town : Ladispoli (Lazio)

GPS : N41.93544° W012.12500°