Caminito del Rey – Finally Being Fixed

After many false starts, the world-famous Caminito del Rey is finally being made safe so that many more people can enjoy this thrilling walkway – thankfully we got to bag this a couple of times over the years by using our Via Ferrata and Climbing gear to gain access, we were able to enjoy this unique place.

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Chrimbo Dinner 2013

Another great christmas dinner at the Olive Branch courtesy of Patrick, Roy and the rest of the team. Catering for 47 was never going to be an easy task and having been told dinner would be served at 6pm (we were also told this last year, we ate gone 10) Patrick sagely suggested we would be eating within an hour of 6pm!

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Arriving pretty much on time, the team produced a great spread with all the trimmings.

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Everyone had a great evening and stuffed themselves silly – almost everyone was leaning back on their chairs nursing stomachs!

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Unfortunately, no presents from the boys though do have some waiting for me in the UK.

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Weather is much better today, the sun is shining and we’re soon heading out to complete Caminito del Rey which we postponed from yesterday due to the heavy rain.

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A Christmas Day Walk

Merry Christmas!

It actually rained this morning and I’m pretty sure it’s because all our friends and family were getting a bit cheesed off by our various messages re the glorious weather and chose rain as our Christmas presents!

Still it’s cleared up and whilst cloudy, its been quite a nice day.

To be honest, today has been a bit surreal – climbers as a whole are not very sentimental, there were a few ‘good mornings’ and ‘happy christmas’ muttered but other than that, today could be any other day of the week though we’re having a big dinner this evening – they’ve catered for fifty so should be a great night.

Anyway back to today – Tug and I set off around noon to go and walk the Kings Walkway again, the famous Caminito del Rey…

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The return of Musgogenesis (6a)

The last time we were in this part of Spain, it was for my good friend Jons’ stag weekend – which we’d conveniently arranged about three weeks prior to the actual wedding, you can already see where this is heading!

So here we were February 2010, young(ish) men with minds full of adventure, our first proper climbing trip – though we’d been here previously to bag Caminito del Rey a famous walk we’d talked about doing for years and years!

The stag was going well, we were climbing lots, drinking plenty of wine and generally having a great time with good friends. Buoyed by a great mornings climb, our hero of the story decided that he was by far too good a climber to be bothering with the lesser climbs we were on, and sets about tackling Musgogenesis (Graded 6a.)

Of the course the inevitable happened, having climbed about six feet from the ground and on making his next move (there is a further story here about how Tug came to be called Tug…) Jon fell, breaking his ankle on the rock – we were obviously in hysterics with Jon heroically telling us to climb on, that he’d be ok, leave him with a gun and he’d fight the enemy off and we could make good our escape (the pain obviously getting to him) – though it was obvious it was a little more serious, so having stopped laughing and taking many pictures, off we went to the hospital where a fractured ankle was confirmed!

Half of Six is Three

Half of Six is Three

So being in the Area, Tug and I decided to pay a visit to the scene of crime to bag a special picture which I’m sure Jon will appreciate and for the record, Jon and Amanda married a few weeks later, the bride looking lovely in white and Jon, well Jon was on crutches trying to hide the heavily bandaged leg!

Couldn't resist!

Couldn’t resist!

So then, day two – Bagged:

Los Currantes (4)
Albert Extrem (4)
Er Suzuki (4+)
Chicharreta (4+)

el Caminito del Rey, Spain

Like all good adventures, this one caught our attention having seen an article in the newspaper whilst having a lazy sunday afternoon in the pub! The four of us in awe of the article and talking about how great it would be to have a boys adventure over in Spain and completing this famous walk.

A couple of years later and finally getting ourselves in agreement as to a date we left the UK – two by plane, two riding from the UK, through France and into Spain before arriving in el Chorro to start the walk.

The walk is approximately 40 or so kilometers north of Malaga very near Alora in a place called el Chorro. For years there has been talk of renovating this famous walk (following several deaths) as it has fallen into disrepair – to stop people accessing the walk, the Spanish authorities have destroyed both the start and end of the walk though you can still access it via a Via Ferrata.

The walk was completed in little over five hours by Vodka Dave, Simpo, Tug and myself – finishing with huge grins on our faces and wanting to do much more in the future.

The railway tunnel opposite Caminito del Rey

Vodka Dave & Simpo, gaining access

Vodka Dave about to cross the water-bridge

Tug, negotiating the broken path

Memorial to fallen climbers

Simpo, Caminito del Rey

Simpo, Vodka Dave, Crash and Tug, Caminto del Rey - Done!