Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Malta - playing catch-up on the last day

Saturday evening.  For some reason, I had a total craving for pizza so, with encouragement from Mrs RC, I headed along the beach to the pizza place I found last year.

The sun was setting behind me as I approached the place.  Was it still there?  Was it still as good?

You bet it was!  This is the Meat Feast, so I feasted on it and had a beer before heading back to the hotel.

It was very dark, none of the light pollution that I am used to at home.  I took a 15 second exposure shot of the lights on the other islands which came out nicely...

Next day we set off to explore rock formations.

This is the second time I have been along this track - first time I was on a hired bike which was really not up to it..

We found this cave that seems to get a lot of use from climbers.

Plant life tended to be small and hardy..

And very pretty!

During an interlude, a couple of us did a spot of rock climbing. 

 I was doing fine until I stretched a little further than my shorts were prepared to do, which split from knee to half way up the zip.  Luckily I had a top that I could tie around my waist to cover myself!

Monday was a totally free day, so I hopped on the ferry for Gozo. 

 I wanted to check out the clifftop walks to see if they would be good for when Mrs RC and I visit in the summer.

Heading out from the ferry terminal I took the first road that seemed to head for the cliffs. My destination (a place called Xlendi where I intended to have lunch) was about 3 miles away in a straight line. My walk was NOT in a straight line...

And a lot of it was not particularly pretty either...

But  I did see some fun stuff and some very pretty stuff.

Can you see the hidden words?

There are lizards on the mainland, but here I became worried that I would stand on one.

This bay was wonderful - I could only reach the beach by scrambling down a very rough path, often using steps that had been hacked into the cliff...

I did reach the cliffs, but the path was far from joined up, causing my route to bend and loop back on itself.  At one point, after a stretch of what was probably a mile,  realized I had looped back to a point only 200 yards from where I had been earlier.

But it was fun.  Can you see the face in the cliff below?

The flocks of sheep and goats have vanished from the mainland,but are still to be seen on Gozo...

By now, I was close to my goal - the 3 miles had taken 4 hours of solid walking - a total distance of 10-12 miles, maybe more? Who knows?

Temptation called.  This path seemed to go straight to where I wanted to be, looking a lot quicker than following the road.  

Was I tempted?  Of course I was! But he path just vanished when it reached the houses,  meaning that I had to battle across a load of overgrown scrub to get back onto the road.  Ah well, another short cut gone wrong.  At least I was on my own and no one else would ever find out about it!

The end was in sight, my stomach was telling me it needed food, but what sight greeted me?

While I had been walking, the wind had picked up a lot, and now there were waves breaking exactly were I had expected to have lunch!  The prom was awash and most of the places were closed.

Luckily, one was still open, so after a badly timed dash to the door (I got wet) I was able to grab a pizza and beer and watch the waves send spray through the bar door.

Refreshed, I headed inland, to grab a bus back to the ferry. On the way I saw rabbit paradise...

Yep, this guy had free run of the family vegitable plot and doesn't he look good on it?

By the time I got back to the mainland, the sea was pretty rough - the ferry had been pitching and rolling badly during the crossing too.

Back on solid ground I headed for the hotel, but paused for a few pics of the waves.  

After taking this one, I decided to wait for the next big one.  I heard rather than saw it, clicking the shutter just before the water hit me, soaking my right side.  The photo was just blank whiteness.  This caused great amusement when I got back to the hotel and told the story.

Today is my last full day here. We leave very early tomorrow, so I should be back in Canterbury around lunchtime.  Mrs RC will be there to meet me.  I can't wait.  Funny, I had thought that having Skype chats would have made me miss her less than usual, but I think it actually made me miss her more! Or maybe it was knowing that she will be with me next time I am here.  Either way, this has been a great week but I can't wait to get home to see everyone again.

I hope you have enjoyed my stories and pictures.  I will be playing catch up on my bog reading over the next couple of days to see what you have been doing while I was away! Hope it has been good!


agg79 said...

Thanks for a great tour of Gozo. Really off the beaten path. Great way to spend exploring the area.

ShadowRun300 said...

You probably needed that 10 mile walk to work off that pizza!
Glad you were able to find somewhat of a dry restaurant to eat in. It's almost like you were on an amusement park ride!
I believe Mrs. RC missed you just as much. She's earned some time off after all she went through while you were gone! ;) She'll be glad to have you home.

Riot Kitty said...

Augh, I am so jealous! Raining here. Hope you had a great time!

terri said...

Don't try to tell me you needed encouragement to go find that pizza place!

You had some adventurous travels around Gozo and have some great pictures to show for it.

Rock Chef said...

Agg79 - Yes, I certainly saw bit of Gozo that few normal tourists see!

ShadowRun300 - Yes, Mrs RC does deserve a rest, but things are still nuts here...

Riot Kitty - It was great, thanks. Looking forward to going back with Mrs RC!

Terri - I did need encouragement - she practically FORCED me to go

Abby said...

Great photos and travel narrative! But... I keep going back to that pizza!

Rock Chef said...

Abby - That place does do great pizza. Going to take Mrs RC there in the summer so you can look forward to more pizza pics then!

agg79 said...

Was going to make some comment on you and your uncanny ability to find good pizza but everyone else beat me to it. I hope that you will backtrack to find some good pizza for you and Mrs RC this summer.

Rock Chef said...

AGG79 - Yes we will definitely be going to this pizza place. It is a good walk from where we will be staying so will be part of a day trip.