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Ramblers’ winter walks released

Ġnien Ingraw. Photos: Mary Attard

Ġnien Ingraw. Photos: Mary Attard

The Ramblers’ Association of Malta (RAM) has just released its winter 2018 programme of walks, and duly sent it out to all members. It covers the first three months of 2018. Non-members who would like to try out a walk with the association may find a copy of the programme on the association’s website below.

The RAM takes great care when picking the trails for its programmed walks. Walk leaders scout the routes beforehand and look out for any risks that may be encountered so that these are avoided at all costs through selection of alternative paths or lanes that present no danger. As much as possible they try to find routes in the countryside away from tarmacked roads and vehicular traffic.

The association insists on access to the countryside and nature because it offers the safest and healthiest source of exercise, especially for those who are past the age to follow organised sport. For this reason, walk leaders always seek established paths and lanes that do not trespass tilled fields and private property. At times, they visit these again to clear paths from trash, overgrowth or fallen stones, before organising a ramble.

The association is an environmental organisation and always seeks to prevent damage to, and abuse of, the countryside and coastal areas – the source of enjoyment of ramblers.

Still, some walks might present problems to people who are not used to walking over unpaved ground. The RAM continually educates walkers to:

• Pay careful attention that the grading of a walk they intend to join suits their physical ability;

• Wear good walking shoes and suitable clothing;

• Keep their hands free to mitigate injury from any possible tumble or fall;

• Choose to stop walking at any stage as they deem fit to suit their ability;

• Be always aware that their safety is ultimately their sole responsibility.

Garigue around Żurrieq area.Garigue around Żurrieq area.

January walks

Six walks are planned for the month of January. Next Sunday the walk starts at the Busugrilla roundabout in Rabat, from where it follows country lanes past Tal-Lunzjata chapel and on to Dingli Cliffs. The views from along the cliff edge require no comment as to their magnificence.

On Wednesday, January 10, at 2pm there will be a cultural walk starting at St Lawrence church, Vittoriosa, the birthplace of the RAM’s dear ex-president Lino Bugeja, whose bereavement occurred a year ago. He is still sadly missed by the association and this walk will be held in his memory.

The scenic cliffs of northwest Mellieħa will be the highlight of the walk on Sunday, January 14, which starts from the parvis of Mellieħa church. On the way back, the ramblers will pay a visit to the underestimated historical caves of Ġnien Ingraw and the nearby water spring.

Another walk in the south will be held on Wednesday, January 17, starting at 2pm from the upper parking area of Ħagar Qim temples. During the walk, ample archaeological information will be given to explain the possible purposes for which these prehistoric temples were built. But a stone’s throw away there are the lesser known but mystical Misqa Tanks, dug in rock, which remain unexplained to this day. But surely there must be a link to the temples! The walk will proceed towards Wied il-Wiedien and on to the shoreline, which offers interesting geological features. The next walk on Sunday, January 21, explores the valleys and cliffs around Żurrieq, like the valleys of Wied Babu and Wied Bassasa and the ridge overlooking the Blue Grotto and Munqar. It sets off from the large roundabout at Blue Grotto Avenue and Triq il-Wied.

All the aforementioned Sunday walks start at 9am. However, since the one on Sunday, January 28, will be held in Gozo, the meeting place is at Ċirkewwa in time to take the ferry leaving at 8.15am. On arrival at Mġarr Harbour, the ramblers will board the 8.55am bus to Nadur to start trailing the ridge overlooking San Blas Bay and Ramla l-Ħamra with panoramic views and interesting features and caves. The walk will proceed to cross the red sandy beach and climb up the other side to Rdum tax-Xagħra via Calypso’s Cave. The walk is expected to last some four to five hours and will end at Marsalforn. Ramblers who may wish to leave before will have ample opportunity to catch a bus back to Mġarr Harbour.

I wish all readers a healthy and peaceful new year, and invite them to come along to a walk with the ramblers in the conviction that walking is beneficial to physical and mental health.

For further assistance or information, call 9949 7080 or 7733 2433.

www.ramblersmalta.org

www.facebook.com/ramblersmalta

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

Heading to ŻurrieqHeading to Żurrieq

Well at Misqa TanksWell at Misqa Tanks

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