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J121 - Sunday, February 14: Venosa – Casal Sabini (half way between Altamura and Santeramo)

74.78km – 10H30’
Altitude : 385m
A gloomy Valentine’s Day  

It has been raining and dark as night all day long. This stage is dull, without flavor, the scenery green and dejected.  Altamura is a sad, gray city.  When all is said and done, I would be better off at home with my cat on my knees and Serge next to me.  In these gloomy days when I see him locked within himself  and  with the pain in his abductor muscles, which forces him to alternate running and walking, i.e. the famous “Cyrano” method, I ask myself what the justification for this challenge can be.  When I see Serge with such a tired mien, who won’t say anything, won’t look at the scenery (or at us for that matter), I ask myself what can possibly motivate him to continue.  I ask myself, I have no answer and I prefer not to find one.  I can’t wait to go to bed tonight for tomorrow is another day.  These are my two obsessions today…….
Serge has always said to me « if one day, one single day, I don’t get a minute’s pleasure on the road then I will stop”.  So there has to be at least one minute of pleasure during the day for him to continue and tonight I will ask the question for February 14 because I have looked and today have not found this famous minute.
Serge says: « Getting up was very difficult, so was starting.  For 5 hours all I felt was slowness and heaviness, and then at kilometer 44 I began to feel better, in spite of the heavier rain.  I started having positive thoughts and pleasure too (in response to Larue’s question). The end of the stage was difficult because the road after Altamura was particularly dangerous: almost no shoulder, heavy traffic and then night fell.  Luckily I was pampered by the super team we have with us.”

Tomorrow:  Gioia del Colle – Noci - Locorotondo

Town : Cabal Sabini (Les Pouilles)

GPS : N40.79956° E016.65681°