Ruta de la Lana, stage 23, Caracena to San Esteban de Gormaz, 29.5 km

Distance, 29.5 km
Elevation gain, 210 m
Elevation loss, 453 m
Total distance, 653.5 km
Daily average, 28.4 km

Señora María Angeles opened the bar for us at 07:00 for breakfast and cooked cheese omelettes for Marianne and Ruedi whilst Nina and I had tostada con tomate, which set us up nicely for today’s walk.

Early this morning we saw many deer, even a family of three, which is the first time I have seen more than one at a time. And later a hare sat on the track ahead of us. Not many photos today – the deer were way too quick for me and although the scenery was very pleasant, I just wasn’t that inspired to get my camera out (and the header photo is from yesterday’s stage).

We were on the road to the first village Carrascosa de Abajo (with no bar) at 6 km, the second village Fresno de Caracena (with no bar) at 9 km and we were eventually on a track at 10.5 km. 17.5 km found us at Ines (without a bar), and 21.5 km at Olmillos with a closed bar, but a lovely man crosses the road to open it for us. Hurrah, cold beer and crisps! We are walking through rolling crop fields, the sun is shining from a blue, blue sky, and we can see snow covered mountains in the far distance.

After Olmillos we are back on the road for most of the way until we reach San Esteban de Gormaz. We cross the bridge over the Rio Duero and stop off at the Plaza Mayor and pop into the Ayuntamiento for a sello. We have been advised to stay at the Hostal Moreno as opposed to the polideportivo. I can’t find the location on google maps, but it tells me where to find the street. We walk quite some way and find no sight of the hostal. When we ask someone we are told that it is situated at the opposite end of this very long road, a good 20 minutes walk to the other end of town. If you plan to stay here, turn right when crossing the bridge and keep going until you are about to leave town.  We expected the cost to be around 30 euros but it was in fact 38 euros for a twin room. It is ok, if rather overpriced, but I suppose I should take into account that this is a bit of a tourist town, with some really ancient buildings.

After showering and doing a bit of washing, we set off for the shops to buy food for tomorrow in the small Eroski, and then we pop across the road to the farmacia for some anti-inflammatory cream and pain killers for my foot and to get advice for Nina who has had a stye in her eye for almost a week. She bought some cream back in Sigüenza, but the problem didn’t really improve, although today it seemed a bit less inflamed. The lady in the farmacia suggested a visit to the emergency department at the local health centre. We were seen immediately by a doctor who prescribed drops and cream. We then had to return to the farmacia to collect the prescription but by now it had closed. We had been told that we would need to phone the emergency number to get attention, but before we had a chance, the young man who worked there and was having an after-work drink in the bar next door, opened up for us and our friendly pharmacist dispensed the medication, charged the outrageous sum of 2 euros, chatted with us for ages and then gave us some free sample sizes of shampoo and toothpaste, and hugged and kissed us goodbye. I can’t imagine anywhere other than Spain giving such great service to a couple of out of town strangers. Thank you wonderful people of San Esteban de Gormaz.

After all the extra to-ing and fro-ing we had clocked up over 35 km!

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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15 Responses to Ruta de la Lana, stage 23, Caracena to San Esteban de Gormaz, 29.5 km

  1. Ralph Whittle says:

    My wife used to get styes in her eyes. The doctor advised her to routinely use moisturizing drops in her eyes; three to four times a day. Doesn’t get styes now.

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  2. Dora says:

    Loving the tales from your journey.

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  3. Paul says:

    Both the weather and the landscape of the last few days make up for those times muddy boots and soggy cloths, just a shame I couldn’t move my ass to join you. Shame about the health problems, but I’m sure your friendly pharmacists medication will remady things. You carn’t be far from the end of the first of you 3 roots? Keep well love to you both. Paul.

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  4. Cecilia says:

    I love this tale of the pharmacist. So glad the sun is shining. X

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  5. Remind Nina of our trip to the Centro de Salud last year. It gives interesting insight into a community.

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  6. NICE – we also found the Spanish even if closing up a shop would open back up to provide excellent customer service and seem to make time to chat as well appearing to be in no rush at all – we could learn a thing or two from the Spanish when it comes to serving others with pleasure!

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  7. Judy Hill says:

    I love your stories, and I am so happy you are having beautiful weather. But the bad weather illustrated exactly why you carry so many extra clothes, ( I like that you detailed in photos your- selve’s wearing them,..that hoody caplet is fantastic), and that you are very dedicated travelers. I am really impressed with your fortitude. It good to actually see gals like you before I pack and set off on a camino myself someday! Thank you for everything!! XXXXX!!!

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  8. M3 Mary says:

    At last Maggie the weather has settled and it will be all plain sailing from here on. That was a good day yesterday.Like Judy Hill I am very impressed with your trepidatiousness if there is such a word. Enjoy the rest of the journey. I’m off to Ireland today so may not comment for a while but I shall follow your exploits as best I can. Buen camino and much love xx

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  9. Tony Rice says:

    I love walking Spain .

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  10. Alan says:

    A lovely story Maggie.

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  11. Sally says:

    Funny isn’t it? You either meet people who go out of their way to help you and be friendly and welcoming and yet…. go into some shops and they can barely finish their conversation to serve you! You’ve met some wonderful people. Restores one’s faith in humanity x

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  12. Katherine Paterson says:

    What wonderful service both at the Consutorio and farmacia. Aren’t we so lucky here in Spain.
    Loved the hare photo and the vulture with chick, incredibly lucky to see that.

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  13. Marilyn van Graan says:

    So glad to hear it was another sunny day with blue skies – how is your foot doing – and poor Nina with a sore eye – oh my goodness – nearly a couple of crocks!!! hahaha – tomorrow will be all well and dandy now you have all the drugs!!! Loving your blog as always – stay safe darling and take care – warm hugs and lots of love al always`xxxx

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  14. Colleen says:

    happy the sun was shining… not so happy for poor Nina… I hope her eye is feeling easier today!

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  15. Hi Maggie, I’ve been following you for a few years now and always look forward to your yearly camino’s as it gives my camino soul some nourishing until time for my next one:). The farmacia story is such a perfect example of what makes a camino so special and magical. Buen Camino!
    David

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