Today, I, Malin and one of my best friends at my work, Emmanuel Schembri, planned to walk along the coast from Ghar Lapsi (Siggiewi) to Wied iz-Zurrieq. This is found at the south of Malta However, I can tell you immediately that things did not go as planned and we walked it only up to Hagar Qim (Qrendi) which is approximately half way as much as planned.
The aim of the walk was first of all to enjoy ourselves walking in a nice warm sunny day, to explore a bit the surroundings, and to take photos of some wild flowers growing in this area, especially that rare white-flowered Common Borage - "fidloqqom"
- that Manwel saw few days ago when he walked this way on his own.
We started to walk along an easy path towards the east of Malta. Upon the first 5 minutes there were 2 particular scenes which impressed me:
a) On our right side. there was the wonderful coast line
of white/green rocky cliffs contrasting with the deep blue sea with aquamarine green patches towards the coast.
b) On the left side was then the huge cliffs with several caves and large apertures along its wall. This particular cliff have 2 holes as if it was a face!
After some time of walking we noted two large caves in a nearby cliff which were possible to reach. We decided to climb up and have a look inside. The way wasn't the easiest one, we had to climb several loose rocks and avoid bushes or spiny plants. Finally we arrived to one of the caves. There were a number of interconnected cavities, which would have been fun to play in if I was 10 years of age. One could also observe the location where water used and still dripped down for thousands of years due the presence of streaks of darker rock
and short, stubby stalactites. The view towards the coastline was even much beautiful from this high place as you can see in this panoramic photo
. As I took the photo for the first time, I got a big disappointment becasue the camera batteries got drained. Thankfully, Manwel lent me his batteries of his cameras. He sacrificed of not taking photos (even if he claimed that since he lives there it is not a problem) but still for me his action was a big deal. These are true friends! Then we walked to the other cave
few metres away which was larger but similar to the other one. We took a little rest here and set to walk down back to the foot path.
Once arrived we noted a bird hunter (or this one better described as one who catches birds by traps). He was not arrogant or whatever and we walked along and passed him without any hassle. Some people have sometimes reported that encounters with hunters are not very sociable. The hunters take a piece of land in the wild and 'claim?' that it is theirs and use it to trap wild birds migrating from other distant countries. So presence of people passing by is not much granted by the hunters.
Anyway, now we have arrived at a place known as "Ras il-Hanzir" or in English the Pig Point. In geography a "point" is referred to as a piece of land along the coast which is projecting out into the open sea. I started to take some photos of the wild flora of this area. There are quite a number of flowers which are not so common around Malta (see bottom of event for some photos). We soon arrived near a large valley formed by two adjacent huge cliffs
. It would be very interesting to be here after (or during!!) a heavy rain storm and see the huge quantity of water flowing by.
We continued our walk over an area known as "il-mitqub" (I do not have an idea what it means) which was quite easy to walk and had several different wild plants which are not so common. The view of the cliffs we passed by
was very nice here. Manwel suggested that we should start looking for that white-flowered borage as he thinks it was somewhere here. We walked and tried to trace the plant but without success. Actually I did not put much effort in it becasue I preferred to enjoy the walk and look at the views.
Now we were approaching a very interesting place known as "l-ilsna" or in English 'the tongues'. The name was given due the fact that this was a piece of land with few tongue-like projections extending out into the sea
from the same zone. The sea water around here
was also very beautiful and inviting for a swim; but unfortunately , at about 15Celsius, it is still too cold for me (but not for others !!!). However, I and Malin agreed that in June we should attempt to come here for a 'private' swim, since I do not believe that anyone would dare to come here. But I think that in the hottest months of July and August, it will be impossible to reach (or to go back from!) this place since of the extreme heat. The small islet of Filfla was close close here
After several minutes of walk we arrived near a site where this land was separated from the main land by this wide ridge (gap)
as if once they were united together. It may have happened due a small earthquake long time ago. We also noted that the 'edge' at the right side (hence the mainland) was smooth, while the opposite edge of the other isolated land was rough and stony. I think that water flowing down from valleys and cliffs down the mainland for a long period of time smoothed in the cliff edges, while since no water could flow down at the other opposite edge, there was no smoothing effect. Another interesting fact was that down below there was a small opening in the wall of rock
and there was a pool of sea water. Anyway, lets stop talking about geography now. Once we were here I asked Emmanuel to take us some photos and he did a good job! (Malin and I - Photo 1
, Photo 2
). I also took a last photo of the incredible blue sea water
in this area.
It was already 4 o'clock past and we had much more to walk (I guess we were about half the way). Since we had then to walk it back, (and yeah, we got bit tired) we decided to stop our walk here. We still had to walk it back and about 5:30 it starts to get dark. So we climbed the very steep cliffs and arrived near Hagar Qim. We were quite exhausted after this tough exercise so I suggested to go and have a drink at the Hagar Qim Restaurant, a couple of metres away. We were bit worried that it may be closed, and actually we found out that it was closing, but thankfully the owner allowed us to sit and have a beer for some 10mins until they clean up the tables.
At about 16:45 or so we started to walk back to Ghar Lapsi where we had our cars parked. We took a much relaxed path, hence from the street along the countryside and fields in that area. We talked a lot on many things on our way and honestly we did not felt the 3km walk to be long. It took us just a little bit more from half an hour. However, as we arrived near a large quarry
, Manwel indicated a short cut. Instead taking the long street path, we climb down through a 'sort of passage' of large pipes descending all down the steep and rocky cliff to Lapsi
. These pipes come from the Reverse Osmosis plant found at Lapsi and supply water to the South / South-West part of Malta. At a certain point the incline of the steep was about 45 degrees or even more! - but there was no danger of falling. When we made our way down, we came accross this curious building which resembles a small palace
, probably being a house of some rich family in the past. After few more minutes we arrive near our cars. We thanked Manwel for the walk and he left to his house, few kms away in Siggiewi.I took the last photo again to the lonely island of Filfla
and packed the camera.
I and Malin decided to eat in the luxurious restaurant at Lapsi. We took a small nap in the car until the restaurant opened at 7pm. It was a very beautiful restaurant and excellent service. I ordered Quail and Malin was confused between 'Osterich' and Duck, but finally she took the latter. The food was superb, and quickly served. For this reasons the prices where on the expensive side, but was worth it. It was a pity I did not bring the camera with me for a photo here!!! We left at about 9pm and arrived home tired but delighted with this, once again, perfect event.
Finally here are few examples of wild flowers found in this area which are not so common in Malta:
Flower photo 1
Flower photo 2
Flower photo 3
Flower photo 4
Flower photo 5
Bonus photo!!: cute insect