The decrepit footpath of Spain’s El Caminito del Rey floats like a broken chain of islands in the sky. The jagged mosaic of steel and concrete is precariously tacked onto the vertical cliff faces of El Chorro canyon. Clinging thousands of feet over the teal waters of Río Guadalhorce, the remnants of the old “king’s little path” is as much a testament to human bravery as it is a monument to our foolishness.
But as we descended, tired feet and shambling legs overshadowed my admiration of the splendor that surrounded me. After about three hours and six kilometers downhill through countless switchbacks, we reached the bottom of the canyon and dipped our swollen and blistered feet in the cold waters of the San Miguel River.