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Sunday, May 25, 2008

This place would give my wife a heart-attack.

There is a limestone gorge in southern Spain called El Chorro which is home to some of the world’s best climbing. Within this gorge is a long, winding pathway that was built between 1901-1905, known as Caminito del Rey, “the kings pathway”.

The walkway has now gone years without maintenance and is in a highly deteriorated state. It is 3 feet in width (at optimum spots), and is over 700 feet above the river (and rocks).

Official access to the path was removed in 2000 after 4 people died trying to walk on it. However, a few adventurous souls still find their way onto the walkway.   Here’s video proof.

I'm so going to this place some day.  Hey, maybe that's what I'll do for my 50th birthday seeing as Zahava was such a good sport about my 40th!

Hat tip to Bayou

Posted by David Bogner on May 25, 2008 | Permalink

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Hey, I've done that walk - in my worst nightmares. And when I fell off, I never reached the bottom! Ergh!

Posted by: Noa | May 25, 2008 11:59:03 AM

reminds me of route 60 north of Beer Sheva

Posted by: britac | May 25, 2008 12:41:49 PM

Heights terrify me, so you couldn't pay me enough to do something like that even if everything was in working order.

If you go when you're fifty, I'm sure Zehava will pray every minute that you come home alive--so she can kill you.

Also, you need to learn how to walk a tightrope (with no net).

Finally, you probably shouldn't weigh more than 100 lbs to do that hike.


When are you turning 50???

Posted by: Baila | May 25, 2008 2:24:36 PM

I got vertigo just sitting here watching this! Oy!

Posted by: JDMDad | May 25, 2008 3:26:59 PM

I am of two minds. My internal 25-year-old (the same me who actually loved the Parisian wedding band's version of "HaTikva") so wants to walk this walk! But the 50-year-old me gets that the whole movie is really about the grandchildren.

Thanks for the virtual thrill. Avi (59) and I took the hike together. Too cool for words. Now we are going back to preparing for the upcoming wedding, while the brothers try to convince their future sister-in-law to have the kids at convenient times throughout the year to have more cinnamon rolls available for family birthdays. (Because I want them to live forever, and to stay healthy, the butter-and-sugar laden cinnamon rolls are only available for birthdays. We currently lack birthdays between the months of April and August.)

Death-defying hikes seem to preclude cinnamon birthdays.

Posted by: rutimizrachi | May 25, 2008 3:29:16 PM

Who was that daredevil? All that camera work while his life depended on his balance and footing... that thrilling 360 on a particularly narrow stretch. I got palpitations just watching! Makes me wish I could handle that sort of thing. If you can, kol ha-kavod to you... but I have a feeling that you'll have a very hard time convincing Zahava to let you do it.

Please, can we have a Yonah update? Or did I miss one along the way?

Posted by: Rahel | May 25, 2008 3:44:35 PM

Oh my God! My stomache hurts just from watching that!

For my 50th birthday, I'm going to keep my two feet firmly on the ground!

OK, maybe not so firmly. I wouldn't mind going to Disneyworld!

Posted by: Rivka with a capital A | May 25, 2008 6:42:22 PM

lovely.

when i was 16 i did one of those summer tours to israel. we did some crazy hikes including one on a ledge which was scary enough, freaky when another group came along the path coming from the opposite direction!

good times. good times.

Posted by: nikki | May 25, 2008 6:56:15 PM

I'm there! Only thing is, I'll have to do some fast hard talking to get my Lynne to even watch the vid (she doesn't do heights)let alone let me go on that adventure.

Posted by: Allan | May 25, 2008 7:59:08 PM

It was just confirmed! I'm dead meat if I even think of going. If the walk doesn't kill me Lynne will. Oh well, a guy can dream can't he?

Posted by: Allan | May 25, 2008 8:07:44 PM

i would love to do that hike.

Posted by: AKCraig | May 25, 2008 10:50:04 PM

I just watched the video. My feet are sweaty, I feel queasy, and my life flashed before my eyes.

Might I suggest as an alternative going (with Zahava) to the Carmel Forest Spa for your 50th birthday? The food is (kosher and) delicious, the walks scenic and lovely (and very wide), and if you're feeling really daring, you can book an Ayurveda four-hand massage. That way, your wife can enjoy the celebration with you, you don't run the risk of a very sticky end, and the rest of us get to continue reading this very extraordinary blog. B'seder?

Posted by: Shimshonit | May 25, 2008 10:54:19 PM

Now David, I'm almost two decades behind you so I guess I can't say for certain, but I can't imagine turning 50 could be bad enough to warrant suicide! Come on, there are better ways to see awesome sights -- and many of them are in your own backyard. You love your family, remember?

Posted by: Alisha | May 25, 2008 11:00:40 PM

No way, man.

Dude, the path is FALLING APART and is MISSING in places.

Dude!

No way.

Seriously.

Posted by: Sarah | May 26, 2008 12:26:57 AM

I would love to try that! Looks way... cool. Though I wouldn't go alone. I'm not THAT suicidal. : )

Posted by: Irina | May 26, 2008 1:08:21 AM

I found that to be quite unsettling.

Posted by: harry | May 26, 2008 9:20:43 AM

Noa... In real life it wouldn't be so bad. After all, you'd eventually hit bottom, right? :-)

britac... C'mon now... they're slowly improving the road. We haven't had a flat in days, tfu tfu tfu!

Baila... I have a little over three years until I turn 50. But it's never too early to make plans.

JDMDad... OK, I admit I threw up a little in my mouth the first time I watched it. But I'm sure it is much less scary in person. :-)

rutimizrachi... If you need some serious Cinnamon, we have the good stuff from Vietnam. We'll bring some by when we come fro spaghetti.

Rahel... B"H Yonah slept through the night for the first time last night. In fact, he didn't wake up until almost 11:00 AM! That is unheard of for him. I'm hoping this indicates we've turned a corner with this.

Rivka with a capital A... This is just like Disney, except without the lines. :-)

nikki... Maybe let me know where the Israeli hikes were and I can do my warm ups to the real thing there. :-)

Allan... Wives can be such kill-joys, no? :-)

AKCraig... So what's stopping you? :-)

Shimshonit... For one thing, it would cost more to spend a weekend at the Carmel Forest Spa then to fly for a week to Spain. Second, the idea of walking around in a bathrobe all day may be tempting... but the food is vegetarian. Bleh! Lastly, One of the best parts of being Israeli is planning trips abroad! :-)

Alisha... Who said anything about suicide? If you noticed in the film, there was a new cable running along the entire length of the trial. At one point you can see a guy wearing a climbing harness and clipping himself onto the cable as he walks to each new section. I would totally use that. I may like thrills but I'm not stupid!

Sarah... Um, when did you move to southern California?

Irina... Because we all know that two people couldn't possibly fall off that walkway, right? :-)

harry... That 'unsettling feeling' you just experienced? That was called being alive. Imagine how much more alive you'd feel up there on that hike?

Posted by: treppenwitz | May 26, 2008 1:01:47 PM

Oh wow. Do you think that support wire is really stable? Strangely, I don't think I'd be scared if it was new and sturdy.

I did want to smack the filmmaker for stepping right on the edges of the holes, however. No need to be silly.

Posted by: Tanya | May 26, 2008 4:17:01 PM

Far be it from me to deny you the pleasure of planning your foreign excursions. But addressing your other concerns:
1) Yes it's expensive. Call it a life insurance policy if you like. (I've heard burial in Israel is free, but how much does it cost to fly a corpse back from Spain?)
2) Wear sweats. Or a three-piece suit. Whatever. And breakfast and lunch are dairy; dinner is always meaty, and if you are lucky enough to get there on "grill night" (which I hear happens once a month or so) it's heaven.

Suit yerself, of course. And happy birthday.

Posted by: Shimshonit | May 26, 2008 6:02:31 PM

I cannot go really high up an 8-foot ladder without losing my nerve, so people who walk that route are as superheroes to me.

I'll stay in the car with the Mrs., thank you, cheerfully listening to whatever passes for FM radio in Spain and eating torpedo sandwiches until you get done... have fun! See ya later!

On another note (!), the "hiking porn" soundtrack to the video really does add another layer of fun to the film... three cheers!

Posted by: Wry Mouth | May 26, 2008 7:31:27 PM

P.S. I can only presume the Spanish don't like their kings very much.

Posted by: Wry Mouth | May 26, 2008 7:34:05 PM

כל העולם כולו גשר צר מאד

Posted by: Imshin | May 26, 2008 11:12:52 PM

Oh, is the cable new? That wasn't clear. I just figured there was no maintenance going on up there, period. If I knew the cable had been recently tested at all points along the path I'd feel differently.

Posted by: Alisha | May 26, 2008 11:22:39 PM

David, don't forget to add this place to to your list. ;)

Posted by: Jack | May 27, 2008 4:28:37 AM

THAT is the most breath-taking video I've EVER seen!!!! I am in awe of the person who made the video! But I did enjoy it so much --- only because I wasn't there!!!!

Posted by: peggy | May 27, 2008 7:01:23 AM

You couldn't pay me enough to attempt such a hike!

First motorcycles, now this... :-P

Posted by: tnspr569 | May 27, 2008 8:45:15 AM

I feel sick just watching that.

I have a funny feeling that Zahava has way too much sense to approve that as a birthday activity.

Posted by: uberimma | May 27, 2008 7:11:35 PM

I recommend Jack's link (above) to all interested in the insane things people do. In this case, the Chinese version of the Spanish "king's way" makes the "king's way" look like a stroll through your average suburban park. Scroll all the way down for a nifty, harrowing 1st-person account of an average couple's trip up and down that "hiking trail." Wow! ;o/

Posted by: Wry Mouth | May 28, 2008 2:56:08 AM

Wry,

That couple's story was great, the perfect example of "better them than me."

Posted by: Jack | May 28, 2008 10:10:07 AM

Normally I would agree with you, but I think for your big Five-0, I think you should go to a certain temple in China. I would guess the fall here is more like 5000ft. And there is no concrete in sight, just planks and some footholds carved into rock. Here is a link to some pictures of the path (scroll down to number 5): http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2006/11/most-dangerous-roads-in-world.html

Regards,
Andy

Posted by: Andy McCarthy | May 29, 2008 8:06:06 PM

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