01 December, 2010

Caminito del Rey

I knew about Caminito from quite some time but i never dreamed of ever getting to see it with my own two eyes yet alone walk on it.

But u never know how the dice rolls so the chance came this summer, with my summer holiday. We got a big discount on some plane tickets Bucharest-Malaga on a low cost airline company, we found a decent hostel and armed with lots of optimism and will to have fun, me and 4 of my friends went out on one hell of a trip. After taking tours of Malaga, Gibraltar and the beautiful Caves of Nerja, last day before return we started on the way to Caminito.

Alora train station
Finding your way there isn't that difficult once you do some digging on the net. We were also lucky to meet in Gibraltar a brit guy that was going to El Choro back to his friends that were there climbing. Our route was by train from Malaga to Alora, a taxi from there to El Choro and a lil hike from the village to the actual site. Of course the pathway is officially closed, of course you do it on your own risk and off course you should only do it if you have previous experiences with climbing and walking at heights.

Initially I wanted to do the pathway freestyle but after huge pressure from my friends I did it with a climbing harness after all. We didn't have the climbing gear with us but you can rent what you need from El Choro which as I've said is a great place for climbing. After doing the pathway i got to the conclusion that, as I expected, climbing gear isn't necessary but sure does good for psychical comfort.

 Reaching the actual pathway is pretty straight forward. Leaving from El Choro train station and heading towards the canyon you take it on a rocky road, go by a church or monastery and reach  some sort of touristic viewpoint. It's located near a train tunnel and next to the cliff face that marks the end of the canyon.

El Choro canyon's exit

From this point there are two ways to get on Caminito. First option is to traverse the cliff face using a number of iron beams located some tens of meters lower than the pathway and then climb to it. The second option, a little safer is to go through the railway tunnel and the next ones till you reach the "inner valley". From there you can see the river on the valley's bottom and parts of Caminito on the other side. The valley is pretty steep but with a little care it's no big deal.

Inner valley
 A headlight would have been great cause there are sections where the pathway is doubled by a parallel tunnel through the rock. We did it without, just with a little help from the camera's flash from time to time.

The views are extraordinary, the heights are breathtaking and it was definitely worth doing.  You get a unique feeling of walking through some ancient ruins even though the place is not that old but just severely degraded. While on the pathway, caution must be given at every step, most of the actual path is made of one layer thick of bricks with some concrete in between. There are places where the bricks collapsed forming holes in the pathway or interrupting it all together.  The support structure is made of railway beams, but they too are severely corroded in some parts of the track.

Now i'm gonna end this short story with some more pictures:

From this trip, you can find more pictures on my facebook album and some videos on youtube: video1, video2, video3.

No comments:

Post a Comment