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Ramblers welcome autumn

The new mosaics around Ta’ Pinu church parvis. Photos: Mary Attard

The new mosaics around Ta’ Pinu church parvis. Photos: Mary Attard

As much as the summer season is generally enjoyed by all, especially for its weather and vacation time, the cooling change of September is gratifying to all, even to those who enjoy sea sport. So again this year, with the welcome arrival of autumn and the first rains after an unusually hot and arid summer, the Ramblers’ Association has prepared its timely menu of walks to stimulate the appetite of rambler members and all lovers of nature to indulge in a flourish of landscapes and sea views in the crispier, clean air of the open countryside.

Fungus Rock, DwejraFungus Rock, Dwejra

The months of October and November can still offer lovely days of calm and beautiful sunshine, the renowned ‘Indian summer’ or ‘is-sajf ta’ San Martin’. Ramblers eagerly flock for the early walks of this season in the knowledge that in the brilliant daylight of this time of year, nature will sparkle as it covers the landscape with its velvety, verdant bloom. Snow-white clouds hanging from the blue skies and occasional milky sails dotting the azure sea add contrasting intensity to the scenery, so suggestive of a Mediterranean Shangri-La.

The autumn programme of walks proposes two excursions to Gozo, whose range of proximate hillocks pledges far-stretching sea and country vistas graced with an array of vernacular and prehistoric heirlooms. Other walks along the southern and northern coasts also promise spectacular scenery and interesting cultural information that the walk leaders would have prepared.

Mġarr, MaltaMġarr, Malta

Part of the Ramblers’ mission is to increase awareness of, and protect the natural and cul­tural heritage of our islands, lest it go to the dogs. Unfortunately and for a long time now, the powers-that-be have seemed intent to let it go that way, mesmerised as they are with milking the Malta cash cow dry as if there were no tomorrow.

The three-month programme is briefly described above. Further information regarding the starting times and meeting places can be found on the association’s website below.

The Ramblers’ Association invites locals and foreigners alike to come along and enjoy the walks to the benefit of their health and companionship.

For further information call 9949 7080 or 7733 2433.

Qala parish churchQala parish church

Autumn walks calendar

October

• Sunday, October 1: Gozo – A moderate though long walk through northern Gozo of approximately five hours’ duration.

• Sunday, October 8: Mġarr’s surrounding countryside – A moderate walk in the lovely countryside around Mġarr taking around four hours.

• Wednesday, October 11: Northeast coast – A moderately easy afternoon walk along the northeast coast of Mellieħa, lasting some three hours.

• Sunday, October 15: Mtarfa garrison and olive press – An annual walk that is easy and lasts two hours.

• Sunday, October 22: A walk in the south of Malta – A moderately hard walk around Birżebbuġa of four hours’ duration.

• Saturday, October 28: Gozo – A moderate five-hour walk on the eastern side of Gozo. (Note this is a Saturday walk.)

November

• Sunday, November 5: The Majjistral Park – Mostly an easy walk but there will be some rough terrain, lasting four hours.

• Sunday, November 12: Mellieħa – A pleasant walk in the countryside around Mellieħa and Wied Ingraw, of moderate grading and three hours’ duration.

• Wednesday, November 15:  St Julian’s to Mensija – An easy cultural walk taking in interesting sites of a busy area in around three hours.

• Sunday, November 19: Marsaxlokk and surrounds – A moderately graded coastal walk mostly on cliff edges, taking some four hours.

• Sunday, November 26: Natural valleys of the south – A moderate three-hour walk.

December

• Sunday, December 3: Dwejra Lines – A scenic walk with some steep inclines and rough terrain lasting three to four hours.

• Sunday, December 10: Marsascala – An easy, pleasant walk along the coast and through the hamlet of Bidni, taking some four hours.

• Wednesday, December 13: L-Aħrax – A moderate walk of three hours’ duration.

• Sunday, December 17: High Ridge walk – An easy walk lasting four hours.

• Sunday, December 24: Naxxar to Tarġa Gap – A moderate three-hour walk.

• Sunday, December 31: Pembroke – An easy walk with interesting historical information being held in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund, lasting two hours, 30 minutes.

Alex Vella is executive president of the Ramblers’ Association of Malta.

http://ramblersmalta.org.mt

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