What is it?
The words El Caminito del Rey translate to The King’s Little Pathway and refer to a walkway in Spain. The name is usually shortened to Comino del Rey, The King’s Pathway. The walkway was built between 1901 and 1905 as a means of workers bringing in materials, maintenance of a channel and the carrying out of inspections of the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo falls, Spain. In 1921 King Alsfonso XIII walked it at the opening of a dam, hence the current name.
Why is it so special?
The walkway is narrow (1m), is located over 300m above the level of the river, and has fallen into disrepair. There are no handrails for most of its length although there are safety wires in parts. Hikers can clip their carabenas onto the wires but note that the chap filming in the video below does not. The concrete has collapsed in parts, leaving the rusted steel beam exposed. The holes in the path are from falling rocks.
Following 4 deaths in 1999 and 2000, the authorities closed the trail and removed the means of access at both ends. Intrepid hikers, thrill seekers and flatliners still manage to get onto the trail and walk it by abseiling down to it or climbing up to it.
Because of that continued popularity of hiking the walkway, in 2006 the regional government at Andalusia budgeted 7m Euros for restoration works.
How did they build it?
No idea. My researches have not provided any answers, only people asking the same questions: How did they build it? and: How did they get the concrete up there? My internet researches show that nothing has been done as yet.
Look at the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmDhRvvs5Xw
Some pics to give an idea of the walkway’s dangerous aspects can be seen at http://cellar.org/iotd.php?threadid=17487