Would you walk the El Camino del Rey trail?

As requested we are repeating this video plus a bit more information on the extraordinary El Camino del Rey. Please click on the photos below for a much larger view– Deskarati –

El Caminito del Rey (English: The King’s little pathway) is a walkway, now fallen into disrepair, pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, near Álora in the province of Málaga, Spain. The name is often shortened to Camino del Rey (English: King’s pathway). In 1901 it became apparent that workers at the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls needed a walkway to cross between the falls, to provide for transport of materials, and for the inspection and maintenance of the channel. Construction of the walkway took four years and it was finished in 1905. In 1921 King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway for the inauguration of the dam Conde del Guadalhorce and it became known by its present name.

The walkway is one metre (3 feet and 3 inches) in width, and rises over 100 metres (350 feet) above the river below. Constructed of concrete resting on steel rails supported by stanchions at around 45 degrees into the rock face, it is currently in a highly deteriorated state and there are numerous sections where part or all of the concrete top has collapsed. The result is large open air gaps that are bridged only by narrow steel beams or other support fixtures. Very few of the original handrails exist but a safety-wire runs the length of the path. Several people have lost their lives on the walkway in recent years and after two fatal accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local government closed both entrances, but not the gift shop.

el camino del ray

In June 2011, the regional government of Andalusia and the local government of Málaga agreed to share costs of restoration (including car parking and a museum) of €9 million. The project will take approximately three years to complete. Many of the original features will remain in place and the new materials that are used will be in keeping with the old design.

Via Caminito del Rey

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3 Responses to Would you walk the El Camino del Rey trail?

  1. alfy says:

    There is a special reflex, know to physiologists as “the cremasteric reflex”, found only in men as will be soon apparent. The testicles develop inside the abdominal cavity in male infants. Shortly before birth, they pass down the inguinal canal into the scrotum. However, a thin strand of muscle, the cremaster remains connected to the testicle. At times of fear this muscle pulls feebly on the testicle and the boy or man is faintly aware of this.
    In other animals, like deer, at times of danger, the testicles can actually be withdrawn from the scrotum back into the abdominal cavity for greater safety. Human males cannot actually do this as the reflex is there, but relatively feeble.
    As I watched the bold lad on the Camino Real, my cremasteric reflex was going nineteen to the dozen. Would I walk it? No. It needs a great deal of repair even for fit active young men like our correspondent.

  2. alfy says:

    Golly. It was even better watching it the second time around. Two new ideas emerged in the second viewing.
    1. Walkers could clip themselves on to a safety wire attached to the cliff wall. Even with this wire it is still a very daunting walk.
    2. It is quite close to Alora. Of all the small towns in Spain this is one I know, because I spent a fortnight there in the summer of ’64 on a riding holiday in the Sierra Nevada. On occasions we went swimming in the local pantanos (reservoirs) which looked like the one shown in the clip.
    We were warned that once we were about 20 feet out from the landing stage there would be about 600 feet of water under us, and we would not be touching bottom. Although this was a bit alarming at first, if you can swim it hardly matters how deep the water is. The pantanos were calm, cool, clear and refreshing in the heat of August, after several hours in the saddle crossing the Sierras.

  3. Pingback: Would you walk the El Camino del Rey trail? | larkalong

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