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J120 - Saturday, February 13: Monteleone Di Puglia – Venosa

73.6km – 10H02’
Altitude : 375m
There is no more snow but it is bitterly cold, which means we are being very careful on the road for fear of slipping.  We lose altitude between Monteleone and Accadia and we see wind turbines on all the small mountain tops around us.  As we head toward Candela the sun comes out to warm our hands and feet and there are a few clouds in a blue sky.  Serge is running in shorts, which makes him very happy and the only shadow on the horizon for the past two days is roaming dogs that go after Serge.  This happens more and more frequently and our runner is becoming obsesses by it.
In the van, the duos change: René–Thomas, then René-Daniel, then Daniel-Thomas.  In between changes we look for the small roads that run along the main road:  the SS655.  These roads are calm and peaceful but without the help of the GPRS we would never find them because there are no signs on these secondary roads and regional maps give information which is approximate.  Sometimes we wonder where we are going.
And speaking of maps, I think I have already mentioned that they are a problem.  Today we consider ourselves fortunate to have found a map of “La Puglia,” in Lavello because there was only one, not two.  For a map of the “Campania” region, the service station attendant helped us out by giving us his and we were able to find a single copy in a “shack,” in good French we would call it a newspaper stand,  with magazines of all types, mostly nude women and sports.  What luck, for who could have believed that we would find a single map in such a place!
Tonight we think we are 200km from Brindisi.  We are due to take the ferry there late Tuesday afternoon.  It’s a tight schedule to keep.
Around 1:00 PM we stop near an immense shed.  Its parking area looks like an excellent place to camp tonight.  We go in and find the attendant and with our 3 words of Italian, a postcard and a lot of gesticulating he understands and gives us the green light.  We leave saying that we will return = ritorno in Italian.
At 3 :45 we return after having run 3 errands,  withdrawn money from a cash point and gone around town a second time looking for a place with Wi-Fi but today being Saturday everything seems to have closed at noon.  This time the shed is open and there are cars all over the parking area.  The managers of the place confirm that we can camp there for the night.  A little to one side, they come to inspect the camper, then come back with a bottle of wine produced by the Troilo Company.  It is then that we meet Antonio Troilo, the owner of the shed, who bends over backward to help us: set yourselves up inside the shed, you will be warmer, you can plug into the electricity and the toilets are this way and If you need an Internet connection (It’s too bad there is no WiFi because with all the software to update I need to use my own computer).  They bring us 7 liters of milk, 1 liter of olive oil, tomato sauce and beans.  We are spoiled!
Our thanks go to Antonio and his whole team, with whom we were able to communicate even though we speak no Italian and they speak only Italian, which is normal.  I regret not to be able to communicate everywhere as I would like.  Speaking different languages is so important when you go to meet other people.
Toorop : Spinazzola - Altamura

Town : Venosa (Les Pouilles)

GPS : N40.99215° E015.88316°