Sherman, relaxing at the Burnt Corral Campground in Arizona. Photo taken February 24, 2015!
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode (Ottawa), Ontario, Canada.

Where are they going next? Barbados! Arrive on October 25th!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Living life on the edge!

The Caminito del Rey is a path that was built along a cliff face and gorge high above the Guadalhorce River in order for workers to maintain a hydro dam water channel that ran through the gorge. The original path began construction in 1901, and was completed in 1905.

The original path was constructed of concrete and rested on steel rails supported by bars built into the rock face. It deteriorated over the years and there were a lot of sections where part or all of the concrete top had collapsed. By the 1990's, the result was that large open-air gaps were bridged only by narrow steel beams. 

Few of the original handrails were left, although apparently there was a safety wire that ran the length of the path. Several people lost their lives on the walkway and, after two fatal accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local government closed both entrances. Even so, thrill seekers would sneak in, and in the 4 years leading up to 2013, four people died attempting to climb the gorge.

In 2013, several levels of government decided to rebuild the pathway at a cost of more than 5 million euros. The new pathway opened in February of 2015.

You can park at either the north or south end of the trail, however the path now only starts at the north entrance. It's a total of about 7.6 kms (4.7 miles) in length. And in the village of El Chorro there is a bus that costs €1.55 to takes you back to the parking areas at the north entrance. So if you park at the south end, you would immediately take the bus back to the north end to start the trail.


You have to hike through this tunnel to get to the trail leading to the entrance. 
GPS coordinates of the tunnel entrance are 36.92993, -4.800593

Enjoying the scenery along the way.

Ruth and Helen on the path towards the entrance gate.

Interesting rock formation.

No sandals allowed, no bare feet, No large backpacks, no umbrellas. And, there are no toilets along the way, so you have to make sure you use the ones at the entrance before you start the trail!

Entry fee is €10 ($14.30 CAD, $10.80 USD). And you can book in advance online. Go to http://www.caminitodelrey.info/en/#3 and click where it says "Book your visit".

Waiting for our brain buckets.

Hey, we're all set now!

Aren't we stylish?

Groups head out at timed intervals, but once you're on the trail you go at your own pace. So sometimes there is traffic as you need to pass someone, or someone needs to pass you. I think if we were to do it again we would do it towards the end of the day with less people.

Our first view of the walk!

Yep, we're heading up there!

I took a video for you...it's about 4 minutes long, so you don't have to watch the whole thing if you don't want to. But, it does give a better idea of the perspective than actual still photos do...



Looking down.

Not dangerous at all, but if you're afraid of heights you might have a problem.

It's not dangerous, nor is it strenuous. Yes, you have to be able to walk approximately 7.5 kms, but if you take your time this is a hike that anybody could do. And, the views are spectacular.

Looking up the valley.

All the metal bracings are thick stainless steel.

Kevin, near the bottom of the walkway.

It looks worse than it is.

Looking up the canyon.

Yes, we will in fact be crossing that bridge.

Saw some kind of mountain goats along the way.


There are two canyon walkways, separated by a normal walking path.

Starting the second walkway.

Lots of interesting rock formations.


They have a glass floor section for those who want to stand on it.

Lots of opportunity for photos!

Here, you can see where the new walkway was built on top of the original path.

Yep, we made it across the suspension bridge. That was fun!

The walkway is attached to the walls of the sheer rock face!

Wow!

What a different walk! It was a little too busy for my liking though. We figured it wouldn't be that busy on a Monday, but today (Tuesday) is a holiday in this part of Spain, so perhaps many people also took yesterday off. 

Not as exciting as it used to be for the thrill seekers who were doing this trail back in the 1990's, but still a worthwhile thing to do if you're in the area. Be sure to check the weather in advance...there was snow up here when we first tried to go back on January 20th and the roads were closed. They also close the trail if winds go above 35 km/h.

And, of course you can always find more information on their website at... http://www.caminitodelrey.info/en/

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And in Canada, it's time to stock up on toilet paper...




28 comments:

  1. What a fun hike for you , and amazing scenery, but really don't think I could do not with my fear of heights,

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    1. It was a fun hike and even I wasn't nervous, which I am sometimes when I am up that high and not much under me. The structure is very secure so that is what heped put me at ease.

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  2. Oh good grief. Just seeing that walkway gives me the creeps. And a suspension bridge...no thank you. Glad y'all did this hike. I love looking at the photos but my knees were weak the entire time.

    So happy to read....No sandals allowed, no bare feet, No large backpacks, no umbrellas. We see so many crazy people trying to hike with sandals on. Crazy.

    Beautiful scenery.

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    1. The suspension bridge almost had me! It is the type that the walking surface is that grated metal that you can see through plus the fact that it was pretty windy when we were crossing it but I had my eyes open the whole time and even took time to look down. ;-)

      They told Helen that she was to collapse her hiking pole for the hike but it doesn't collapse and she needs it for some of the trail that isn't part of the walkway for added stability. They let her keep it thankfully but she wasn't to use it on the walkway itself. I guess they are afraid that it might get caught up in the cracks and cause her to slip or fall.

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  3. Now that was an amazing adventure! Just the sort of thing we've come to expect from you both. :cD

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    1. It was totally amazing and as soon as we had read about this hike and had seen pictures of it we knew that we had to do it! :-)

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  4. What an amazing hike! Great pictures. This is not for the fainthearted!

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    1. We loved it! If you don't care much for heights you could still probably do the hike, if you are terrified of heights then this is most likely not the hike for you. ;-)

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  5. Beautiful scenery. I can't imagine doing it back in 1905 though - bet they didn't use melon protectors at that time.

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    1. The scenery was fantastic!

      We said the same thing. I can't even begin to imagine was it was like for those men that had to build the walkway. I doubt they had hard hats either and quite a few died while making it.

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  6. How long did it take to do the walk?

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    1. It think it took us about 3 1/2 hours but we were really taking our time and even sat and had a snack along the way.

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  7. Beautiful! It made me dizzy looking at it, especially the old sections with no handrails. I don't think I'd be brave enough to attempt this, but you sure had a grand adventure. Thanks for sharing your photos and the video. Amazing!

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    1. We really enjoyed it and both Helen and I have a slight problem with heights, both of us have commented that if we feel secure that it isn't a problem and neither of us had any issues with the height on this hike.

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  8. Thank you.... Thank you so much for the video and beautiful photos, was in Malaga last year and wanted to do it but was advised not to as mobility and fear of heights. I have done it now in my mine. Thanks you again. N

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    1. You are welcome! :-)

      If you have a very big fear of heights then it probably isn't for you but if it is only moderate, something like me, it is very doable! As for mobility, it isn't strenuous and if you just take your time just about anyone could do it. If you can't do a hike that is about 7 to 8km, then again it wouldn't be for you but if you can then we highly recommend it. The views are fantastic.

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  9. There is no way!!!!! My heart is pounding from just watching the video & zooming in & out on the pictures! Good for you four though!!!!

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    1. It's definitely not for everyone but funnily enough the height didn't bother me at all. I think it is because I felt very secure on the platform.

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  10. Crazy walk but great scenery along the way!

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    1. It was fantastic! We loved it and the scenery was something else. We wished that we had more time to spend in that area, as there are a ton of hikes that we would love to do there.

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  11. Wow! We would totally do this, but not without at least a little bit of nervousness on my part at least. GREAT photos. The second-to-last is especially breathtaking, and dramatic. Good going!

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    1. I am sure this would be right up your alley Emily! I agree that last section was the most exhilarating and shows the height of the walkway the best. This is also the section where most of the old walkway has totally disintegrated away.

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  12. Wow, a whole lot different than the terrifying youtube videos of it I saw ten years ago! I don't think the various levels of government will have any problem recouping their 5M€...

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    1. Very different from 10 years ago! We actually thought it would have been cool if they could have repaired/rebuilt the walkway similar to what is was back near the beginning of it's time and then just have a safety line and you wear a harness and need be hooked onto the line, sorta like those tree top adventure "walks". It would have given you just a bit more of the taste of how it really was. The only problem with that is that they wouldn't have been able to recoup their money as quickly because they would have less people doing it. The way it is built now, they definitely will recoup the money quickly. It was quite busy when we were there and it wasn't even a holiday or in the summer when it must be heaving with people wanting to do the trail.

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  13. Holy Katzenjammer Kids -- it LOOKS harrowing, even if Kevin says it isn't. Quite a trek, eh? Beautiful scenery along the way.

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    1. It wasn't in the least bit "harrowing", if it was I don't think I would have been doing it! ;-)

      The scenery was amazing and the only way to see it would have been either on the train coming into El Chorro or on this hike. The hike is way better though because you get to take it nice and slow and enjoy every minute of it.

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