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Ramblers’ walks for November: seeing the countryside as it is

Next Sunday’s walk includes an easy stroll along cliff edges and inland pathways of Majjistral Park, highlighting its scenic sea and country views. Photos: Mary Attard

Next Sunday’s walk includes an easy stroll along cliff edges and inland pathways of Majjistral Park, highlighting its scenic sea and country views. Photos: Mary Attard

The four Sundays falling in November are equally balanced with walks in the south and north of the island’s littoral and surrounds. Walkers will be able to view for themselves the beauty of nature and God’s creation. They will also be able to compare the positive traditional human impact on nature with the contemporary adverse backlash inflicted in the name of progress.

Descending into the beautiful historic valley of Ġnien Ingraw.Descending into the beautiful historic valley of Ġnien Ingraw.

The walk of next Sunday, November 5, starts at Għajn Tuffieħa and will encompass the Majjistral Park – an easy stroll on the cliff edge and the inland pathways, highlighting scenic sea and country views. On Sunday, November 12, the walk will be further north, starting with the descent of the beautiful historic valley of Ġnien Ingraw – the reputed site of Calypso’s shrine, which has been immortalised by Jean Houel in his sketches of the Grand Tour to Sicily, Malta and Lipari during the years 1776-79.

The historic caves there are a wonder to view, especially that overlooking Mellieħa Bay, and it is a pity that such a potential tourist attraction is spurned for a depository of pyrotechnic materials. The starting point is Mellieħa parish church.

Casa Ipolito has been left to decay, symptomatic of the little Maltese countryside left that is not being usurped for development

The third Sunday walk on November 19 starts at the car park in St Thomas Bay, moving on to Tas-Silġ along the white cliffs of Munxar. It ends up at the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk, after experiencing some remote country lanes and overland views.

The Sunday, November 26 walk starts at the boat/car park in Birżebbuġa and goes through Żembaq Valley, passing through country lanes, the valleys of Qoton and Ħas-Saptan, an afforested area mainly consisting of olive trees and a few carob trees.

Recently the fuel depots were relocated here from Birżebbuġa. One has yet to see the upgrading of the area promised by this administration, as previous visits there were marred by unsightly rubble and scrap, to say nothing of pipes disgorging waste liquid into the valley.

Casa Ipolito, or Id-dar ta’ Pultu, is a must-see at the end of this walk: ruins  remain of the house built in 1664 by Baron Ippolito Novantieri, “who did today that which he should have done yesterday”, a removed inscription in Italian on the front door revealed.

There are other myths connected with this house that make it all the more interesting. It is a pity that the site has been lost in inheritance and left to decay and neglect, symptomatic of the little Maltese countryside left and that is not being usurped for development.

All walks start at 9am and everybody is invited to join in any of the walks. In case of difficulty call 9949 7080 or 7733 2433.

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

www.ramblersmalta.org

The third Sunday walk will end at the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk after passing through some remote country lanes.The third Sunday walk will end at the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk after passing through some remote country lanes.
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