Malaga - El Chorro. The way to King's path
The easiest way to the King's path (Caminito del Rey) starts in Malaga, from the train station Maria Zambrano.
Train to station El Chorro departs at 10:05 daily, the journey time is 42 minutes. A one-way ticket costs € 4.85, it can be purchased from the ticket office or machine, as well as through the website of the Spanish Railways Renfe.
return train departs from El Chorro at 18:03.
Try not to be late, as another opportunity to leave will be gone. If you do not take into account a taxi, of course.
If You will have time to run the Trail early, you can leave and 15:13, but this is unlikely.
During the train trip you can admire agricultural landscapes of Andalusia.
Spurs of the mountain massif of the Cordillera Betika
Valley of Guadalete river.
Our train arrived to El Chorro station. It is a small village.
El Chorro located on the shore of Tajo de La Encantada reservoir.
Near the El Chorro village is southern entrance of the Caminito del Rey, but my ticket indicated northern entrance. There goes a special shuttle bus, its stop next to the railway platform.
I paid bus fare when online reservation, visit the Royal Path, it costs 1.5 euros. When boarding the bus cut the coupon from the printout of the reservation. I do not know if it is possible to pay on the spot, I did not see it, all the tourists were with printouts of reservations. Though, probably, it is possible to leave - with me in the train there were two girls, they had no reservation at all, however passed a track even a little before me. The clock was about 11, in my reservation was the time 13: 30, because I was in no hurry to take the queue for boarding (and in vain, I will say later), as the buses go every half hour (schedule). While I was standing near the bus stop and wondering where to go, a crowd of tourists who arrived on the train with me, boarded the bus, and the employee who checked the tickets turned his eyes on me, inviting me to climb into the cabin too. Well, if invited, must go, especially because it offered an exclusive place - a folding chair next to the driver.
We cross the Tajo de La Encantada dam.
This dam forms the reservoir of the same name.
The road runs along right bank of reservoir.
Ahead rock massif, cut by Guadalhorce river.
The first object worthy of attention - pumped storage power plant.
Power station deserves a separate article about it later.
But the valley itself in which we have to go.
Path clinging to a steep rock, called the bus revival.
Gorge is often called El Chorro, named the train station, however his real name "Gorge of the Gaitanes" (Desfiladero de los Gaitanes).
Now you can see the suspension bridge, one of the exciting parts of the route.
The trail is still completely deserted, from the newly opened northern entrance to go 3-4 hours.
Rate the grandeur of nature's creations, the height of the cliffs here are about 150 meters.
Railway bridge at the entrance to the El Chorro tunnel.
Then the road narrows, passing on a narrow terrace above the Granado stream, buses are leaving one by one.
Ahead a tiny village Villaverde.
Church of Our Lady (Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Villaverde) is one of the attractions of cycling and walking route El Chorro - Bobastro. I initially made plans to go through it, but it needs another full day.
Villaverde road goes over to the other side of the stream Granado, now a steep rock overhang on the right side.
Top Pico de Convento, 670 metres above sea level.
Black rocks reminded me of the craters of Etna volcano, wich I "conquered" last autumn.
The road bends around Pico de Cueva, which can be translated as "Mountain caves".
Indeed, in the rocks you can see a lot of voids.
Another dangerous area, steep turn, a hidden rock. This Audi had to take back to miss our bus.
In turn can see the plot is totally smooth rocks, resembling ice "mutton foreheads" of Norway and Karelia.
And these rocks, presumably, the same origin - this gully from the top of Kumo down an ancient glacier.
We leave on the left a huge construction site camping - around the Royal trail, which became available to the "non-extreme" public recently, developing infrastructure for active and ecological recreation.
Pass tunnel, over which is located the restaurant El Mirador Ardales. The restaurant terrace offers a wonderful view of the reservoir of the Conde del Guadalhorce.
A group of tourists photographed in a Small tunnel (Túnel pequeño), leading to the Royal path.
Well, our bus pulled up to Acceso Norte, the Northern entrance to the Caminito del Rey.