Top sport!

We have just finished setting up breakfast when the first guest walks into the dining room. It is six o’clock in the morning and, as an exception, we serve breakfast (on request) two hours earlier than usual. Although I don’t want to make a habit of getting up in the middle of the night to prepare and serve breakfast, I don’t mind at all when six of the nine guests have booked with us specifically to participate in the sixth edition of the Arrapapedres. This spectacular running competition, in which participants are guided from Benialí through part of our beautiful valley, is organized every year by Botamarges, Club de Muntanya de Forna and Cricuit Trail La Marina in Vall de Gallinera. Those who want to compete with the other runners can choose between the fourteen (sprint) or twenty-six kilometers. However, those who, like me, hate running can also decide to complete the first route by walking it.

Although my first guest specifically asked me a few days ago whether I had certain ingredients for breakfast (and I was able to answer all requests affirmatively), he did not dare to take the risk. So he walked into the dining room armed with a full shopping bag. From the bag he not only conjures up a whole baguette, but also a cup, a thermos with (c)old coffee, a Tupperware containing a (c)old omelette and – not to forget – a contact grill to toast the baguette. I watch the whole thing in amazement, but am impressed by his dedication. Still, I gently ask him if he wouldn’t like to drink a fresh, hot cup of coffee. My mother, who already has the frying pans and eggs ready in the kitchen, supports me. “Doesn’t he want a fresh omelette?”, she asks in surprise. He shakes his head. He has everything he needs. Great. The fist guest is happy. Just five more to go.

As soon as the four sprinters/runners and two walkers have all had breakfast at eight o’clock, I walk to the door with my mother. The start is just a few hundred meters from our house. From here we not only have a view of the participants outside but also of the stairs inside our house. Just in case the stomachs of the other guests also start growling. I don’t find it surprising when that takes a while. After all, everyone else is on a holiday. Sleeping in is part of that. So when the last guest leaves the breakfast table, I slowly start cleaning up the breakfast. We now have to wait for the participants to return. Each and every one of them asked if I could delay the check-out time slightly. So that they can shower before leaving. I understand and agree. Still, I hope they are among the fastest of all participants. Two rooms have been re-rented. If they take too long, I will eventually have to sprint myself. From one room to another. With the dirty and the clean laundry. With the glass cleaner in one hand and the vacuum cleaner in the other. Forget the Arrapapedres. Running a successful Casa Rural is also top sport.