Los Balconcillos (El Caminito del Rey)
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Legendary foot patch - via ferrata. If you prefer active life, extreme sports, climbing etc. - must to see / walk it at least once in your life!! To reach cache you need to have or rent safety gear (at least climbing harness, 2 carabiners & 2 slings 60-80 cm long, helmet). Better to go with guide, who knows Caminito del rey ;) When you reach place, you can find cache easy, but need to step on bridge handrails / climb a bit more up. Have your pen!
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Caminito del Rey - The Kings walk On the right bank of Los Gaitanes Geroge where the jurassic limestone meets with the sandstone and conglomerat, a vertival wall of about 250m rises on the riverbed and the river flows at the base of the abyss. The diference in height from this point of Gaitanejo with respect to the outlet in el chorro is more than one hundert meters. At the begining of the 20th century an idea was conceived to use the difference between the inlet and the outlet heights of the canyons for hydroelectric purposes. In 1901 the works to build the canal started as well as the works to build the service bridge for the floodgate workers and guards. These spectacular works were completet in 1905 and the El Chorro Water Power Station started to produce electric power from his first station. However, besides its industrial and tecnological importance (as the works were completly avant garde for their time.) It was the bridge hanging over the impressive gorge that attracted the most attention. Los Balconcillos was the original name given to this bridge hanging at one hundert meter above the ground. It was designed by Rafael Benjumea and his specialised team of workers. Many of these workers were sailors who were accustomed to climbing ropes and working only an abyss below them. Metallic wall brackets were used to support a brick and cement facing arch. A series of iron cross members and a simple rail were sufficient protection for the three kilometer long vertigo. The name changed to Caminito del Rey when Alfonso XIII walked across this bridge on his way back to the Pantano del Chorro. A plaque at the entrance conmemorates the monarchys excitment and the recognition to Benjumea. This spectacular construction attracted many people and became a tourist destination, but unfortunately had also started to deteoriate due to neglect by the hydroelectric companies. Today, this construction is one of the most important restoration projects.
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