Caminito del Ray part two “The Catwalk”
We chose to go back to Caminito del Ray to do the walk that the presence of Molly had excluded us from on Tuesday. The hour drive took us to the car park by the bus stop that delivered us to the top of the walk. We hastily made our way to the only visible and waiting coach joined the queue and embedded ourselves in some good seats. Within minutes chaos erupted around us and a lot of noisy Spanish seemed to be arguing about who was sitting on what seat and why with people refusing to move. Angie suddenly had the thought that we may not be on the right bus! It may be our presence that was causing the disruption in the seating plan. With a sudden pang of panic and the premonition that if we were not quick enough we might find ourselves on our way to Seville, Madrid or half way back down the mountain before we could get off, I asked the chap sitting behind us (who was the one getting most of the abuse aimed at him) if this bus went to Caminito del Ray north. “No” was the prompt answer followed by a lot of hand gesticulating and noises of disquiet from our newly acquired Spanish coach trip companions. Our quick departure, after fighting our way through the unrelenting full aisle, of the already full bus allowed everyone to sit in their allotted seats. We asked a lady in a kiosk where to find the bus and she pointed up the road towards the train station. Sure enough there was two clearly marked Caminito del Ray coaches waiting. When we arrived at the top of the walk we asked the parking attendant the way to the start. Telling us the directions he also said that we needed to have brought our tickets on line as it was Saturday! Of course, how silly of us to not know that you purchase your tickets at the entrance Tuesday to Friday and on line on Saturday (pigeon post on Sunday perhaps!) We decided to walk the 1.5k to the entrance via a very dark low and long tunnel and then a much nicer Forrest road and to try to blag our way in as this was the second time that we had made the hour long drive to the place, surly they would take pity on us and have some sort of contingency plan for confused foreigners. NOPE we were turned away for a second time in four days. So if you are thinking of going to do this walk here are the rules.
1. Don’t take a dog
2.Don’t have walking poles.
3.Don’t go on a Monday as they are closed
4.If you go on a Saturday book your tickets in advance and on line AND be able to print them out
5.This probably also applies to Sunday but who knows!
6.If you go during the week also check if you need to book your tickets in advance.
7.Allow at least 3- 4 hours for the walk.
8.Park at the top (north) and walk down getting the right bus back to your start, you can park at the bottom by the railway but it is actually easier from the top.
9.Get on the right bus.
10.Tell us how amazing the walk was as we have tried twice and failed twice.
Either the Spanish are extremely good at just ‘knowing things’ or they have been previously told what to do. We have been turned away twice from here and nearly didn’t get into the Alhambra because the information of what you need to do, when you need to do it, and how you should ideally do it, are all hidden from you until you actually get to the entrance and even then they don’t give you all the facts on the information leaflet or in person. Perhaps the spanish expression of “Manyana” really comes into play on their tourist attractions. It would appear that you need to turn up one day to understand what you need to do the next to actually get in to anywhere.
Despondent but not getting myself into a paddy or acting like a spoilt schoolboy this time we walked back the 2.5k on the lower path which was very pretty and waited for the bus to take us back to the lower car park in readiness for our one hour return drive.
Molly would have loved the 5k walk through wooded mountains but we had left her back at the motorhome so WE could DO the walk! Never mind there will always be next year or the year after perhaps unless of course they introduce more rules by then like you have to wear pink Pajamas, a floppy hat and arrive whilst dancing the can-can.
Molly was overly pleased to see us running in and out of the motorhome a dozen times until she realised that doing so was not getting her any nearer to her dinner.
Feeling guilty for leaving her most of the day I walked her to the beach and marvelled at the sun set.
She just ran around like a lunatic on steroids eating sand and chasing me from under the boardwalk. A home made curry with all the accompanying bits (purchased from the Morrisons deli counter) waited.