El Chorro Málaga España
~ Un Poco De Historia Sobre El Caminito Del Rey ~
Located in El Chorro Málaga, The King’s Pathway or Caminito Del Rey has been known as “the world’s most dangerous walkway” or “el camino de la muerte” meaning path of death in Spanish.
Constructed in 1905 to allow hydro-electric power plant workers to quickly access the construction of El Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls Plant.
In 1921 King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway to help inaugurate the new Conde del Guadalhorce dam. Thus the 1 meter wide, 100 meter high walkway became known as the King’s Pathway (Caminito Del Rey).
Following five deaths in 1999 and 2000, the camino was closed in 2000 due to these fatal accidents as well as the crumbling infrastructure that was deemed un-repairable.
The original structure was a narrow concrete walkway, which rested upon steel rails. The rails were supported by stanchions anchored to the high rock walls at a 45º angle. A steel safety wire ran the entire length of the rock face for hand support.
Throughout years of wear from weather and the intense high winds that are forced through the narrower sections of the route, the concrete path eroded and eventually started falling off the steel rails.
The local government closed both entrances in 2000 and demolished the initial section to prevent passage.
A € 6000 fine was imposed for hiking on the path but thrill seekers ignored the closures and continued to illegally traverse the camino. By 2013 four more people had died in the attempt…
Junta de Andalucía the local government in charge of the Spanish province of Andalucía had plans for the restoration since the early 2000’s but due to lack of funding the plans was postponed until 2014.
Junta de Andalucía began contracting the restoration work to local companies; Construcciones Sando won the bid. The renovation started in March and finished roughly ten months later with an estimated 2.2 million euro bill.
La Adventura de Caminito Del Rey
Now open to the public, I had to go and check it out for myself.
The small town, El Chorro Málaga is a world famous rock-climbing destination that brings people from all over to climb the incredibly long pitches. I also heard that there are some awesome mountain biking trails. So that excited me as well.
At the time we wanted to visit in early February 2016, online ticket sales were not open.
We heard through the grape vine that you must go in person and try to obtain tickets from the local bars in El Chorro.
If you are lucky and show up early enough, you might be able to get an extra ticket over a café con leche before the gates open at 10 am.
Our first adventure to attain tickets was unsuccessful, but we thankfully we were able to put our names down at the main bar located near the trailhead.
They advised us that we would receive a follow up phone call (keep your fingers crossed).
After finishing a delicious and must needed café con leche and being in a beautiful region, we could not just leave…
Having a slow enjoyable afternoon, we cruised throughout the area of El Chorro at a leisurely pace without a care in the world.
I always find in nature and life in general that if you are in a rush, you will miss some of the most special moments.
These moments do not always show themselves to the loud, obnoxious tourist.
At the end of our day we had a glimpse of what we were seeking.
Now lets just hope we get a phone call from the bar with two tickets…
Coming soon in The New Caminito Del Rey