I saw a video of ‘El Camino del Rey’ before we came to Spain and told my husband that I would not even make it up the first set of stairs. After too many fatal accidents one is not allowed to climb there anymore. But as you will soon see, some people still do…
As it were, this royal path, built between two hydroelectric plants in the early 1900s, lays a short hour drive from Ronda. We had seen the amazing gorge coming back from Malaga in a train once, and though I still withhold my pledge to never walk it, one cannot but be curious to see it.
Our chance came last week. As a final push for the old year, our hiking group Pasos Largos organized a new year’s trip from the village of El Chorro, hiking the mountains above the infamous path. Thankfully we got to view it from a safe distance, instead of pinned to the cliffside on a crumbling narrow cement path some 100 meters above the water. I will gladly leave that thrill to others.
The Andalucían government has apparently budgeted to fix part of the trail by 2015, though several other plans have been cancelled before. Seeing the path today, it is surprising if not concerning that the ‘Camino del Rey‘ was a favoured place for primary school outings until a couple of decades ago. Most of the adults in our group remembered walking along the narrow path with their young classmates. Possibly the railings were still intact then?
Hold onto your hearts. Here is the video