✔ Walk El Camino del Rey

El Camino del Rey is a walkway in Southern Spain which was originally built to enable workers to cross the gulley from side to side. It was later renamed to “El Caminito del Rey” (The King’s small path) after the king crossed the walkway, and bridge. It achieved global fame after a brave climbers recorded a video where he/she walked the whole camino without safety gear. Since then, it has been colloquially known as “El Camino Del Rey” (the King’s walkway).

Over the years, the walkway was neglected and in an advanced state of degradation it has turned into one of the most breath-taking vie ferrate in the world. While walking the Camino isn’t illegal, access is challenging. To prevent access the Spanish authorities built two gates on the entrance – but this didn’t deter casual walkers from accessing the walkway.

After a series of deaths, the government demolished the first part of the walkway, thus preventing access… in theory. Access is now gained from a breath-taking traverse of the original “under-walkway” (which was used by the sailors who built the camino). This can be found 30m or so under the walkway. Another issue is the start of the walkway is located very close to the rail lines and a set of railway tunnels. Trespassing on these carries a 6000-euro fine, and police have been known to frequent the area.

Once you cross the first traverse, there is a via-ferrata to to the camino itself, and then a metal “safety rope” you can clip into. Keep in mind that in 2007, 3 people died when the rope failed, and in 2013 another died and one miraculously survived with only broken ribs after an 80m fall to the rocks below.

On the camino itself the dangers come from above (rocks and cacti falling), from the camino itself (built of bricks, cement and steel), and below (it’s a 100m odd fall to the rocks and river below). Where the bricks have fallen, all that is left is a metal railing. Nerves of steel and a good balance are needed here. Elsewhere the path is fairly stable… no guide rails, but if you made it that far it’s quite self explanatory.

Rumour has it that a 8.2million euro restoration project was canned due to the economic climate, but that in 2013 a 3million euro restoration project was approved. Hence, when we got to the camino to find it untouched and as dangerous as always, we were ecstatic!

I’ll upload pictures and videos asap… In the meatime, relish the following videos show someone elses crossing of El Camino Del Rey.


Camino-Overlay

Leave a Reply