El Chorro. The way to the King's path. Conde De Guadalhorce dam
Shuttle Bus from the station of El Chorro brings tourists to the restaurant El Kiocko (map), where begins the pedestrian route along the Royal trail. Here, it is desirable to replenish the supply of calories in the body, as a long way. Don't forget to buy water on the trail outlets will not, and in the summer and even in early spring in the canyon is very hot! This is the long version (Acceso Grande).
to the Right of the restaurant heading to the tunnel, called "Large" (Grande Tunnel). This is Severy entrance to the trail (Acceso Norte).
the Passage is remarkable in the complete absence of any decoration, it's just a hole in the rock. At the North end there is a small grotto-a failure - the only light source, except for the inputs. The length of the tunnel about 50 meters. In addition, there is also a Small tunnel about it I already told.
Immediately after the tunnel starts on a forest track.
where entrance to the gorge stomping two and a half kilometers.
Today is the weekend, so the route is very lively - a lot of the residents of Malaga, who went on nature in large family companies.
on the Left is the Guadalhorce dam (Presa Conde De Guadalhorce map), the first major hydraulic structures built in the gorge of El Chorro. The construction was carried out in 1914-1921 years, so the dam is not devoid of architectural attraction, comparing favorably to modern, faceless concrete blocks. The author of the project and the construction Manager, Rafael Benjumea colleagues called "engineer-poet". his work always combines functionality and elegance, fitting in perfectly with the surrounding landscape. The king of Spain, Alfonso XIII, arrived at the opening of the power station was so impressed by the harmony of the buildings that gave the author the title of count of the Guadalhorce.
In the early 20th century Malaga was supplied with electricity from two steam stations owned by foreign companies. Their capacity was limited, which hampered the development of industrial production. The head of the family of Industrialists Loring-erida (Loring Heredia) from Malaga back in on the eve of the new century put forward the idea of usage for electricity generation the water resources of the river Guadalhorce. In 1901, Jorge Loring received a concession to build a power plant in the gorge of El Chorro. Design management and construction project took on Rafael Benjumea, who was married to Isabella erida Loring. This here is a family business.
In 1905 started the first plant with a capacity of 3000 HP (2200 KW). The case was very promising - limits for energy were sold still under construction. However, without difficulties no cost - in the same year she passed to the other two leading shareholder Francisco Silvela and Jorge Loring, that has undermined the confidence of creditors and led to the fall of the shares of the company. Two years later, a new blow - after heavy rains the waters of the river flooded the plant. To save the project, the Rafale, Benjumea sold most of his assets, his example was followed by other members of the family, including their wives, sold their jewels. The flood of 1907 affected not only the family business, but have caused considerable damage to the economy of the region. This led to the creation of the state Department of water resources southern Spain, has taken the issues to prevent such disasters and irrigation of agricultural lands. In 1911, Benjumea succeeded in obtaining 50% public funding for their new project. The creation of the waterworks, is able to take on the floods, would have saved the valley from flooding, and also gave great opportunities for agriculture. Under the terms of funded 10% of the project budget should be used for the construction of irrigation facilities. Being not only a talented engineer, Rafael Benjumea had also the art of persuasion, which has received the support of not only government officials but also farmers.
the Initial project involved the construction of a dam on the river Gaitanes, but the first studies of the Geology were forced to abandon this idea. The result for the dam was chosen at the confluence of the rivers Guadalhorce and Turon. The dam with a length of 72 meters and a height of 50 meters blocked the Turon river, creating a reservoir with a length of 9.5 and a width of up to 3.5 kilometers. The surface of the water amounted to 465 hectares, while water for irrigation of 13 hectares.
If you turn from the tunnel to the left, you can go to the South end of the dam where there is a stone "Royal chair" (on the map), where was signed the act of commissioning of the dam in operation. Unfortunately, I only found out now...generally in these places, a lot of interesting things, and one day more cover simply impossible. By the way, the opening of the dam, the king passed by the same road, which is now called "Caminito del Rey" - "the Royal path".
After a hundred yards, between trees can be seen cyclopean concrete spillway dam, Guadalteba built in the late sixties, to her we'll get.
Continue their journey in the shadows of the tall pines.
in some Places the path runs next to a steep slope.
Picturesque cliff covered with flowers in April.
Great place for a photo...who is not afraid to fall down.
in total, the journey quite comfortable and safe.
somewhere from the main path away branches.
Turning right, you can climb to the Mirador Embalses (map).
the height of this platform the whole valley at a glance.
at the Bottom is the snake river, the Guadalhorce, which resembles the color of the glacial lakes of Norway. This shade of the water give the smallest particles of rocks through which the river flows.
ahead of them in the East, the valley of the river compressed by sheer cliffs. There is the entrance to the gorge.