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Report - El Camino del Rey April 1992 & 2012

Discussion in 'High Stuff' started by urbanity, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. urbanity

    urbanity 28dl flâneur
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    Rumours of a budget for "improvements" to the Camino del Rey meant that it took priority on our 2000 mile Spanish Easter road trip. The rest of the family declined the opportunity to walk the path, though my wife claimed that she had done it back in 1992 on her first climbing trip abroad. There seemed little correlation between her description of the route she took, with no in-situ protection and direct access from the railway bridge, leading to some scepticism on my part. On returning home she dug out some of her pictures which i've included below.

    Predating the destruction of the initial section of the path...

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    Back to 2012 and a hi-viz jacket is guarding the train tunnel entrance, hoping to catch climbers returning along the railway. (He's impossible to spot from the tracks if you return that way)

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    Local climbers have part rigged a lower access that offers instant exposure, protected by faded fixed rope.

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    This leads to a little gully that gives an easy, unprotected scramble to gain the pathway itself.

    The initial sections of the path are protected by a slimline via ferrata cable. Back in 1992 there was no cable...

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    and 20 years later, no path at all, at certain sections...

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    The iconic bridge across the gorge.

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    Ahead of me were a Portuguese family with a three year old child enjoying the thrills of shared adventure. I hooked up with them for the rest of the journey and enjoyed their company...

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    At the end of the protected section of path we scrambled down to the river.

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    In retrospect, this was a huge error. I had deliberately failed to find out any information about the pathway to make it a little more spicy. That night back in the Refugio, I checked Snappel and QX's typically inspiring account of their trip and realised that I'd missed the Upper Gorge section. It hadn't eluded my wife 20 years ago!

    [​IMG]


    Thinking back, I suppose that I had been paying a little too much thought to the prospects of running back through the tunnels. In the end it seemed like the correct thing to do, despite the risk of a big fine if the high viz was still around. On the way back it was good to see the Camino from another perspective...

    [​IMG]

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    Later on in the day I returned to take the family for a trip through the rail tunnels. I'll be back to complete the path in it's entirety, take some better pictures, and do some climbing in the Gorge. It seems to have really fallen out of favour with UK climbers which is no bad thing I guess. As it stands, the Camino del Rey is a brilliant, adventurous day out. You do need to go equipped with some common sense, but if a 3 year old can do - so can you.
     

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