Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Camino del Rey

I concur that this is the world's scariest path. The video, which I found last night, is both mesmerizing and frightening - and of course I had to know more. The walkway is called the Caminito (or Camino) del Rey and the 6-minute video was made in 2006 by Daniel Ahnen and posted on The path is attached to the walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, in Málaga, Andalusia, Spain. It was completed in 1905 to give workers and inspectors access to the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro and Gaitanejo Falls. In 1921, King Alfonso XIII (1886-1941) crossed it (3rd photo above) for the inauguration of the dam, hence its name, which translates as "the king's little pathway." When the video was taken, the path had gone many years without maintenance and had deteriorated considerably. It is 1 meter wide and 300 meters above the river, with no handrail and only a thin steel safety cable that did not prevent the deaths of 4 climbers in 1999 and 2000. The local government closed the entrances after that, but it didn't stop intrepid tourists. Since then, the Camino del Rey has undergone an expensive restoration and is once again officially accessible to adventurers. Click on the images for many incredible photographs!

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