In honor of the upcoming fourth installment of the Indiana Jones movie franchise — only 6 days left, people! — I thought I’d highlight one of the Indiana Jones-est places in the world: el Caminito del Rey (sometimes called el Camino del Rey, it means “the King’s Pathway”). Located in El Chorro, near Málaga, Spain, the Caminito was constructed between 1901 and 1905 to shuttle workers across the gorge between the Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls. It’s a three-foot wide concrete pathway clinging to the rock face, 700 feet above the ground!
As with most century-old, poorly maintained structures, the Caminito has fallen into serious, and extremely dangerous, disrepair. Only a small portion of the walkway’s hand rails are still intact, and vast sections of the concrete floor have crumbled into the gorge.
In recent years several visitors have fallen to their deaths while attempting to traverse the path, which can only be accomplished in places by sidestepping on the steel beam and holding onto a wire for support (see the lunatic in the picture at left). It also helps to wear a fedora and have a whip handy.
But even these might not be sufficient to get you by the security guards now posted at its entrance; though the Caminito was officially closed to visitors in 1992, the government has only recently gotten serious about deterring casual crossers. However, it is not uncommon for more determined adventurers to climb the rock face to access the walkway, bypassing security. If you’d prefer a more laid-back experience, you can stay the night at a nearby farmhouse and take a 7-kilometer, guided hike along around the gorge and up to the entrance. No harnesses, carabiners, or crampons are required.
Two years ago the government of Andalusía allotted €7 million to restore the pathway, so if you’re willing to wait a bit — I couldn’t find a timeline for the renovations — you can take your (much improved) chances following the path yourself. In the meantime, if you’d rather risk death vicariously, here’s video of a crossing of the Caminito. Thanks to my Dad for the tip!