Saturday, 9 August 2014
Last year the walk from our base at Ghammar across the salt pans to Marsalforn was a painful one. Having decided the day before to go running to the top of the lighthouse my legs failed me and a taxi was required to get home. This time it all started very well! The sun was scorching and probably the best snorkelling of the trip was had at the most northerly point of Gozo at Wied il-Għasri. A small curved low spur which juts into the sea. Wied il-L-Għasri is very popular with divers who like to explore the surrounding underwater caves. The very narrow and secluded bay is also a haven for those who seek a quiet bathing area. The problem for me on this occasion was one of 'inappropriate footwear'. My flimsy canvas shoes were no match for the hard, sharp and abrasive rocks that created cuts and blisters galore. It was with some relief that we approached the village of Marsalforn, the most popular tourist resort on Gozo. During the summer the village is a busy, vibrant place, teeming with both local and foreign visitors. My priority was an ice cold pint of Cisk beer that went down a treat. Speaking of ice I also managed to obtain some cooling for my feet that was discarded from one of the fridges outside the many restaurants. The downside being that it had been used to keep the fish fresh that was on the menu so there was a strong aroma. I have to mention the amazing lamb shanks eaten overlooking the sea. Absolutely huge and I struggled to finish. A couple of days later we went to the south of the island to Mgarr Ix Xini Mgarr a small, but very picturesque bay set within a creek and a steep sided natural valley. It is not the easiest of places to get to and the descent to sea level is extremely steep. The Mgarr ix-Xini Kiosk is also the best spot for fresh fish - It is a greasy spoon type of restaurant and do not expect silver service but by far the best food. The place is run by the owners - the cook and his wife who are really nice people. The cooking area is is outside/open air and the cook goes about his work in full view of the guests! Apparently last Summer the Maltese Prime Minister arrived in the bay on his yacht in company with the former President of France Sarkozy. They made their way up the hillside to the restaurant only to be told that as they hadn't booked there was no table available! On the hillside a large amount of scaffolding had been erected. Apparently an upcoming movie titled'By The Sea', starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt is being filmed here starting towards the end of the year. Couldn't resist a photo opportunity until an over zealous security guard insisted that we move on.