Rachel´s Wanderings in Spain 15 El Caminito del Rey – The King´s Walkway
Once known as the world´s most dangerous walkway, the caminito – which means little walkway – and it was little. The old path was built as a narrow path for the hydro-electric workers to get from the lower area to the dam higher up. Clinging to the rock face it fell into disrepair and was abandoned by all but some reckless daredevils. After a few loses of life the local government closed it down. Then rebuilt a new little path with safety barriers and all the planking intact!
A great engineering feat was undertaken to rebuild The King´s Walkway which is no longer dangerous at all, although a hard hat must be worn in case of falling rocks or head banging on some overhanging parts. The path still clings to the steep side of the, in places 400m, rock face with dizzying drops and the huge heights above you too, hence the hard hat!
The first time I went I really didn´t realise how long, how stunning and how high this walkway really is. The second time, hubby and my Christmas treat to ourselves (read Rachel’s Wanderings 15 ) I was better prepared yet still as in awe and still took too many photos. The whole route from north, where you park the car, to the south, where you get a bus back, is almost 8 km from one starting point and 6.5km from the other. Part high board walk and part mountain path it’s a fair walk but with those views it doesn’t seem so long.
The original path was used by King Alfonso XIII who crossed the walkway for the inauguration of the dam in 1921, hence the name. When it was no longer needed it was no longer maintained and so became the danger and thrill that brought people from across the world. It still does. Tickets need to be booked well in advance at certain times of the year. Many of the local hostelries offer accommodation and tickets together, as in our trip.
As someone who has never really been comfortable with heights I had no problem looking over the railings, I even went on the glass floor the first time but couldn´t be bothered to queue to do so the second time around. Although I did appreciate (and felt happily smug) how some people were clinging to the steel cable and staying right next to the rock face.
Awesome, stunning, unique, breathtaking, it is just one of those places and moments when you run out of adjectives and wows. As I said in the last ramble just a few minutes down the road and hubby said ´ I could do that again.´ We probably will one day as it is practically on our doorstep. But for now my feet are in the olive groves and my camera photographing and videoing houses – some with more picturesque views than others.
Photo – CJ570 on www.inlandandalucia.com If you fancy buying it!
Where to next? We think it´ll be Seville. It´s our 30th wedding anniversary soon but we can only escape for a night possibly two and except for a blog trip I have never stayed in the Andalucian capital, hubby neither. It again is practically on our doorstep at just over a 2.5 hour scenic drive. Yep, can´t believe 30 years have passed by, I still feel 30 on some days (when there is no mirror around) not so on others! And I know I am fortunate in where I live. Not planning on changing that in the near future.
B C Ing you in two weeks…..