The Bucket List: Caminito del Rey
Say hello to ‘Caminito del Rey,’ and welcome back to our bucket list blog! If you are just finding us via Google, then welcome to VoyEdge RX! We are an adventure travel company pushing the boundaries and limits of group travel and it’s our mission to deliver life-changing experiences based on the pursuits of happiness, health and wellness.
Now, part of our mantra at VoyEdge RX is to constantly put out some of the coolest activities we can find out there to our community, and that’s the whole reason for our ‘Bucket List’ blogs. There is a lot to do out there, and we know it’s a big world, so if you come across something awesome and want us to blog about it (or if you want to write it, you can!) just send it to us at: email@example.com and we’ll be sure to cover it.
Now, onto Caminito del Rey….lets get back some background on what it is first….
El Caminito del Rey (The King's Little Path) is a walkway, pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, near Ardales in the province of Málaga, Spain. The name derives from the original name of Camino del Rey (King's Pathway), abbreviated locally to el caminito. The walkway had fallen into disrepair and was partially closed for over a decade. After four years of extensive repairs and renovations, the walkway re-opened in 2015. It has been known in the past as the "world's most dangerous walkway" following five deaths in 1999 and 2000.
The History of it
The walkway was built to provide workers at the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls with a means to cross between them, to provide for transport of materials, and to help facilitate inspection and maintenance of the channel. The construction began in 1901 and was finished in 1905.
King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway in 1921 for the inauguration of the dam Conde del Guadalhorce, and it became known by its present name. The walkway is 1 meter (3 ft) in width and rises over 100 meters (330 ft) above the river below.
The original path was constructed of concrete and rested on steel rails supported by stanchions built at approximately 45 degrees into the rock face. It deteriorated over the years, and there were numerous sections where part or all of the concrete top had collapsed. The result was large open-air gaps bridged only by narrow steel beams or other supports. Few of the original handrails existed, although a safety wire 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, in the 4 years leading up to 2013, four people died attempting to climb the gorge.
The regional government of Andalusia and the local government of Málaga agreed in June 2011 to share costs of restoration (including car parking and a museum) of €9 million. The project took approximately three years to complete. Many of the original features remained in place.
In March 2014, the cornerstone of the rehabilitation project was laid by specialized alpinists. The walkway reopened on 29 March 2015, and Lonely Planet listed it in the best new attractions for 2015. Route description and GPS track is available in Wikiloc with information, photos, and videos to help visitors. The new pathway still offers a walk of 2.9 km along the side of the gorge.
The Caminito makes a cameo appearance in the movie Von Ryan's Express, and some of the deterioration is directly attributable to the crashing of planes into the cliffs during the filming.
Why it’s on our Bucket List
Southern Spain is known for a lot of things; the food, the beaches, the incredible culture and so much more. But, one thing we love and really own as a company is the willingness to push ourselves out of our comfort zone in order to grow as people. This hike is really emblematic of that, and while it may not be the ‘Most Dangerous Hike In The World’ anymore, it still can be quite dangerous and thrilling to traverse. Seriously. I love doing stuff like this, but even taking a look at some of these photos makes me wonder if I could actually do this….
Beyond the sheer drops and somewhat narrow pathway you have to take over all three kilometers of this hike, it’s exactly the kind of trek that will keep you on your toes. Might keep your breath short and heart rate elevated. And that’s exactly what we want. Just imagine the fear, the shake in your knees, the trepidation before all the feelings of success and accomplishment that come rushing in after you finish! That’s what a Bucket List is for and precisely what we need in order to grow as people.
So, what do you say? Are you willing to do this? Does Caminito del Rey land on your bucket list?
Leave us a comment down below or tell us what to blog about next by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or join us on our Spain trip in October 2019 and do this hike for real. Get the info here.