Caminito del Rey

The pathway was started in 1901 and completed in 1905. It was originally built by the Hydroelectric Company El Chorro. It was to allow their workers access between their two sites for generating power.

It became famous in 1921, when King Alfonso XIII walked along it to inspect, and ceremonially open, the newly completed Guadalhorce Reservoir. The path acquired the name of “The King’s Little Pathway” - the Caminito del Rey. The name has stuck ever since.

Over the years it fell into disrepair, and only the brave, or maybe foolhardy ventured along it. There are clips on Youtube of people “braving” the old path. When four people died in falls, in 2000, the council pulled down parts of the path trying to make it inaccessible. Climbers still managed to find a way….

Early in 2014, the Diputacíon de Málaga started a very ambitious program to restore the path, and it finally opened mid 2015. It is now one of the most visited sites in Andalucía.

Anybody driving through El Chorro on their way to the Lakes will have seen the path, clinging to the side of the cliffs.

This is the view from the road.

When we did the walk, October 2015, for some reason they were letting people walk only from north to south - from the Ardales end to El Chorro.

We walked in along the trail from El Kiosko - it is a very pretty walk in it’s own right, alongside a long narrow reservoir that looks like a river.

When we got to the actual entrance to the Camino, we all had to don hard-hats. At least everybody looked equally daft!

Much of the new path is built above the remains of the old path. It is amazing that either the new or the old could have been built with such difficult access.

Looking down on the old path, with gaping holes and missing sections, you can appreciate how dangerous it was for people to attempt to use the path in recent years.

Even now you need a bit of a head for heights. In many sections, you can look down through the slats in the board-walk, and see the river and the rocks, maybe 100 meters below.

Near the El Chorro end, there is a suspension bridge, looking a bit like something from the “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.

Again, looking down at your feet, you can look through the steel mesh at the river far below.

We saw one woman freak out at the prospect of crossing the bridge, and eventually she was lead across with her eyes tightly closed!

Those of a nervous disposition might be put off by the vultures. There are many living in the area. You can see a row of them on the cliff-top, looking eagerly down at the walkers, no doubt licking their beaky-little lips, hoping for one to fall!

There is a railway line that runs through, rather than over the mountain. It is on the opposite side of the gorge to the path, but in many places the two come close together. Another major engineering feat, to build this railway.

Below is a small selection of the many photos that I took that day……

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