Hiking Through Canyons//Caminito del Rey

At least once a year we like to take our walkers well and truly outside of their comfort zone.

It’s only when we’re presented with a truly novel situation that we can discover how much progress we’ve really made.

It’s all very well taking relaxed rambles through our beloved Aberdeen or slightly more challenging treks throughout the Cairngorms, but we here at Aberdeen Rambling Walkers believe that only by leaving the country altogether and experiencing completely different walking conditions, can we truly grow as hikers.

Although some of our International travels have taken us as far as distant Africa or Asia, this year, considering the sheer wealth of new walkers that we currently have in our ranks, it made sense for us to organise a trek that would appeal to as many people as possible.

This meant finding a country that would appeal to sun lovers, whilst not scaring away those with fears of dehydration. A location that felt new and exciting, whilst not so outlandish that the less travelled amongst us might be intimidated. Most of all, we needed to find a great place to walk in that would provide us with challenging terrain to walk across and stunning vistas for miles around. After much discussion, we settled on a place that certainly had no shortage of sun and which would hopefully provide even our more experienced walkers with a challenge that they would not forget in a while.

When you’re looking to transport around 20 or so Brits across a few thousand miles, you’re always posed with a few logistical issues.

We’re a mixed bunch here at Aberdeen Rambling Walkers, coming from many walks of life and all of us with different budgets to deal with. Although every one of us is capable of booking our own flights and making it to the meeting point ourselves, we agreed that it would be easier, and more enjoyable, if we all made the trip over together. In the end, we deferred to the greater knowledge of Michael, one of our recent additions who had experience in driving the distance from his time working for an international removal van hire company. It was decided then – we would leave Aberdeen together and arrive in Spain as one team, it was going to be a long drive!

Thirty-two hours of driving later (thankfully shared between the confident drivers amongst us) and we had reached our destination, a place that was once known as one of the scariest hiking routes in the world – Caminito del Rey. The legendary hiking trail has seen something of a face lift since it’s dangerous days, with planned constction removing the risk-factor that claimed the lives of several intrepid hikers, in the years after it was closed for safety purposes. Whilst the hike has arguably lost a modicum of it’s daredevil reputation, it still remains a truly incredible location to walk through.

By the time that it came to embarking on the 2-day hike that would take us from the recently constructed boardwalks of Caminito Del Rey through the rural reaches of Malaga proper, the heat had soared up to a scorching degrees and only promised to grow warmer as the day progressed.

The heat, the rough terrain and gorgeous views were all a part of why us 15-ramblers had sat on a minibus for over 30 hours – this was a chance for us to prove our worth and truly challenge our rambling skills.

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