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!