Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Pathway fitted for a king...or not?
el Camino del Rey, meaning 'the King’s Pathway', is located in El Chorro, near Málaga, Spain. It was constructed between 1901 and 1905 to shuttle workers across the gorge between the Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls. It’s a three-foot wide concrete pathway clinging to the rock face, 700 feet above the ground!
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.
As with most century-old, poorly maintained structures, the Caminito has fallen into serious, and extremely dangerous, disrepair. Only a small portion of the walkway’s hand rails are still intact, and vast sections of the concrete floor have crumbled into the gorge.
Two years ago the government of Andalusía allotted €7 million to restore the pathway, so if you’re willing to wait a bit, you can take your (much improved) chances following the path yourself.
If you can't wait that long for now you can latch onto a safety-wire to keep from falling. Several people have lost their lives on the walkway in recent years; after four people died in two accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local government closed the entrances. However, adventurous tourists still find their way onto the walkway to explore it.