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J119 - Friday, February 12: Torrecuso – Monteleone Di Puglia

70.9km – 10H08’
Altitude : 803m
When we went through Cabeza, above Narbonne, the UFF organized a welcome with some rugby men, Rosa Gangloff and other athletes.  At the time, Dr. Jean-Pierre Roattino joined us and since that brief encounter we have exchanged e-mails.
Dr. Roattino has commented on some of the remarks in my log and I think that his thoughts on nourishment and stiffness can be of use to those of you who follow us via the Internet.  With his agreement, here are his comments concerning nourishment and stiffness:  “I am giving considerable thought to the effectiveness of nourishment: it is a question of walking or assimilating.  During physical activity, abdominal circulation changes direction in order to nourish the muscles of the lower limbs.  The quantity of fluids that the intestines need to absorb decreases because the water base is used  to help reduce heat; so we  assimilate less efficiently when we are walking.  During the work I did while trying set a world record on a treadmill, I found that taking a 15 minute break to eat is best: the heart beat rate slows noticeably but the articular system is not affected by this pause and Serge will not be stiff when he starts again.  I take the opportunity to speak about stiffness, which is also a problem.  Stiffness is an element of considerable energy output because it allows kinetic energy to circulate as effectively as possible; however, to breathe, muscles need to be as flexible as possible and in order not to wear out too quickly, articulations need to use the best possible surface.  The solution is to sometimes change rhythm over short distances and also to take a stretching position when taking a break to eat”.
To come back to today, Serge seems to be in great shape and his morale is good.  Yesterday at dinner he said “I’ve lots of friends on FaceRoad,” the kind of humor that is a sign of a good day!  This morning there were a few snowflakes and the surrounding mountains were clothed in a light, white coat.  It is not as impressive as the 20cm that fell on Le Havre and we have trouble imagining what it must be like in the neighboring countryside.  This winter seems to go on and on!
We had no trouble going through Benevento, before turning onto a small road, the SP287, which is difficult to find on the Italian map, like all the villages that follow: Ariano Irpino or Monteleone di Puglia, perched on a promontory at an altitude of 850m.
For Serge, it is hilly again, especially approaching Ariano, with a climb that is so steep that even in 1st the camper has trouble making it.  But the scenery is marvelous, with an exceptional view on the cultivated valleys.  Thomas and Marc are delighted and Serge is very happy.
Then the weather turns and snow falls on the SP10, which will take us into the Apulia region, the last we will cross after Liguria, Tuscany, Lazio and Campania.  We have reached the ankle of the boot and head toward Brindisi, which is near the heel.
Everyone is fine and sends greetings.  The whole team thanks you for your messages of encouragement (without attachments!).
Anecdote: This evening Serge lost a tooth that was on a post, it’s a repeat of what happened in China on the Paris-Tokyo race.

Demain : Accadia - Candela

Town : Monteleone Di Puglia (Les Pouilles)

GPS : N41.16224° W015.25868°