Don’t look down! Cliff path set to reopen

flickr by akx

THE RESTORATION of El Caminito del Rey (The King’s Little Pathway) is progressing at a very satisfactory rate, with over 70 per cent of the work already having been completed, according to Elías Bendodo, president of Malaga Council.

The inauguration ceremony could take place as early as next January, and officials will be hoping that King Felipe VI will be in attendance to open the walkway.

The idea is that King Felipe would tread in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, King Alfonso XIII, who gave his name to the path after walking the route along the steep narrow gorge in El Chorro during the inauguration ceremony of the Conde del Guadalhorce dam in 1921.

The pathway was originally built to provide workers from a hydroelectric plant with a means to cross between Chorro and Gaitanejo falls, and was completed in 1905.

The trail fell into disrepair, and after several fatal accidents, the decision was taken to close the way to the general public in 2001.

Work to reopen one of Spain’s most beautiful hiking routes began in March of this year, however, and an investment of nearly €2.25 million has helped the restoration along to this point with the majority of the maintenance already finished.

The new walkway will be constructed of wooden panels fixed to the cliff face 100 metres above the river, and stretch around 1.2km, hugging the rock. There are also plans to incorporate glass-bottomed viewing stations at tactical points along the route, giving the walker a stunning, but surely vertigo-inducing view of the gorge below.

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