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J128 - Sunday, February 21: Kallithea - Karatoulas

70.08km – 10H58’
Altitude : 53m
The night was disturbed by rain, lightning, hail and thunder and thanks to the storm we are able to take mud baths this morning.  You will say that mud is good for our skin… A good night’s sleep (I only opened one eye when there was thunder) has restored some of my energy and with RenĂ© we washed the tent and the awning.  We didn’t mind that it got us a bit muddier.  Thomas and Daniel, who slept under the tent, felt the damp because it leaks, but in spite of all that the mood was not bad at breakfast.
Serge has only one problem: the constant and almost unbearable pain every time he puts his foot on the ground.  Yesterday and this morning, he took ParacĂ©tamol (Tylenol) but I am not sure it has relieved the pain.  We have tried to relieve the pressure by cutting away the sole of his shoe but that does not help so we added a layer of epithelium at the pressure point, which helped a bit but not enough.  Consequently, Serge walks with difficulty and each step is pitiful to see.  He compensates for the defect of the right front foot by pivoting on his right heel.  We have to hope that compensating this way will not create other problems.  At such times Serge is closed within himself and determination is visible on his face.  His dark eyes focus unblinkingly on an imaginary point in front of him and his head does not move. The only thing to do is suffer in silence and move ahead, even though he has good reason to let up, to stop for a moment and do less.  But when things are not going well, Serge’s determination increases tenfold.  I saw it in China when Serge was weeping because of the pain the day he fell and I was crying so that he would do less.  The spread sheet and the decimal point on the daily mileage meant more than my weeping, so I have to find a reason to see Serge suffer and to see him so determined, even when he is in pain!  I admire his ability to never give up, even at such difficult moments.  But I am just a weak woman so I can’t understand.
Tonight, even when he is sitting down Serge can’t put his foot on the ground without being in pain and he wonders how he will be able to stand a new day…
Tomorrow:  Olympia.  Perhaps a sacrifice to Zeus or Apollo can work a miracle.

Town : Karatoulas (Péloponnèse)

GPS : N37.73246° E021.53598°