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J118 - Thursday, February 11: Mignano Monte Lungo - Torrecuso

72.62km – 09H25’
Altitude : 147m
Yesterday, we found a place to stay in a farm with two main activities:  raising 350 water buffalo to produce the well known « Mozzarella di Bufala » and welcoming tourists in their B&B. In Italy this is known as “Agriturismo,” easy to find in the north and not so easy in the south.
This evening Serge is in fine form, seated at a table laden with food: Prosciutto (country ham) and Mozzarella de Bufala, without mentioning slices of quiche, pizza, salads of carrots or spinach, then a rib of water buffalo, pasta and salad.  I am no longer hungry but the men all enjoy this royal feast, which is homemade and very fresh.  Before leaving we are able to see where and how the Mozzarella is made.  We have a look into the stable to see the water buffalo, especially since Thomas’s girlfriend, Delphine, tells us that the Chinese New Year, February 14, will see the year of the buffalo replaced by the year of the tiger.  She must have felt that we would be near some of these fine looking animals.
During this time, Serge, RenĂ© and Daniel have already headed back to the SS6. Serge is in great shape and moves along at a good pace.  After Vairano we turn onto the S372, a cross road which is used by a lot of trucks, but there is a small shoulder where he is safe and enables him to relax.  Like a puppet, he raises his arm to wave at each truck that passes, happy when a driver waves back or honks.
Yesterday we didn’t calculate at how many kilometers Serge would clock 200 marathons.  He arrives for a feeding and jeers: So guys haven’t you forgotten something?  Proudly, Thomas takes the salt out of his pocket to season the pasta and no, it’s not that, it’s the famous 200 marathons!!! Damn Serge, he’s amusing himself at our expense!
During that time, RenĂ© and I leave to find out how to cross Benevento because the S372 merges into the toll road.  We take cross roads and tiny paved roads before reaching the center of the city and then heading back east.
There is beautiful scenery on the S372:  snow-capped peaks, hills covered with tall grape vines, bits of blue sky between clouds and a downpour!
We are lucky because in Normandy it has snowed again…what a winter!
Anecdote:  Serge is having fun counting the number of vehicles that pass in one minute of the race: between 8 and 35, so an average of 6000 in a stage….

Tomorrow: Benevento – Ariano Irpino – (on small roads which are hard to find on an Italian map)

Town : Torrecuso (Campanie)

GPS : N41.20600° W014.60759°