Sunday, 16 September 2007

Oct-Dec 2007 Walks Programme

Ramblers Association of Malta

Walks Programme: October to December 2007

Below please find a programme of walks that are being organised for the period October to December 2007. These outings might entail walking over some rough terrain in open countryside. Good walking shoes and suitable clothing for the weather are therefore recommended. It will be a good idea to bring some drinking water with you, especially on the longer walks. All the walks should present no problems to whoever enjoys rambling.

Please note that while we take great care in picking our trail, your safety is ultimately your responsibility. RAM rejects all responsibility for any personal injury or loss of belongings.

Although we endeavour to adhere to the published walk programme, we may be constrained to change the route, dates or other details. We reserve the right to make such changes without prior notice.

In case of very bad weather, walks might be cancelled. If in doubt please consult the website or phone 99497080.

For your information and for the benefit of the beautiful Maltese countryside, the last two pages have some important advice about walking in the countryside. Please read this – it is useful information and will take only a few minutes.

Wednesday 3rd October THE THREE PALACES (Scenic / Historical / Cultural)

During the period that the Knights Hospitaliers reigned over the Maltese Islands there were in fact three forces vying for power and trying to dominate each other. The Grandmaster and his knights sought to rule and imposed their laws over the land to administer the country as it suited them with little concern for the locals; the Bishop and his church saw to the spiritual needs of his flock, terrorising the wits out of them with threats of the fires of hell; the Roman Inquisitor and his spies in turn ensured that morality was upheld at all times by everybody rich and poor, except by himself, with the help of his torture instruments.

The competition prevailed even in the palaces that each built for his summer recess. The Grandmaster Verdalle had the gardens at Boschetto with its imposing palace built in grandeur. The Inquisitor, not to be outdone, had a grand manor built over a lush valley at Girgenti, not far away. The poor Bishop wanted to keep his rating as much as possible and had the modest abode built over the valley today known as Il-Wied tal-Isqof, also in the vicinity. We shall be visiting the three palaces and their wonderful surrounds

Rating: An easy walk over smooth surfaces with very short periods of uneven terrain

Duration: About 3 hours

Meeting Place: St Dominic's Church, Rabat (Bus no 80 to Rabat)

Time: 0930

Sunday 14th Oct SPTT WIED ID-DIS (Scenic / Historical)

A wonderful historical and entertaining walk starting at San Pawl tat- Targa, going down to the cart ruts area, the pill box at the upper part of T'Alla w' Ommu, then to Gharghur via Birguma, passing near Ghar San Brincat (with views of Bahar ic-Caghaq), in the area known as “the top of the world” (not to be confused with Tibet). Following the Victoria lines, we then head to Madliena, down to Wied id- Dis, then to Tal- Ferha estate. Again through Gharghur village and back to our starting point.

Rating: Varying, but never challenging.

Duration: About 3 ½ hours

Meeting Place: San Pawl Tat-Targa Chapel (bus no 55/56 to Naxxar, then walk to SPTT via Triq il-Markiz Scicluna, a narrow street starting from just behind Naxxar Parish Church)

Time: 0930

Sun 21st October MARSASCALA CIRCULAR (Scenic/historical)

From our meeting place, we proceed towards Xghajra following the coast. From Xghajra we will then walk towards Ricasoli, via the proposed Smart City site. From there we will turn back to Marsascala, this time following the crest of the ridge rather than the shoreline.

Rating: Moderate, with some inclines and some walking on rough terrain.

Duration: About 3 hours

Meeting Place: Zonqor Point, near the swimming pool. (Bus no 19/20)

Time: 0930

Sunday 11th November XEMXIJA / MIZIEB / XAGHRA IL-HAMRA (Scenic)

A walk through this area, always a pleasant place to visit, and now very much in the news.

Rating: Moderate, with some inclines and rough terrain.

Duration: 3 to 4 hours

Meeting Place: Near the Apple's Eye Bar, Golden Bay (Bus 47)

Time: 0930

Wednesday 14th November FORTIFICATIONS AND GARDENS. (Scenic / historical / cultural)

Valletta is renowned for its fortifications and baroque buildings but the open spaces that the fortifications offer are hardly ever visited and save for the two Barracca gardens the other gardens are seldom visited. Together we will explore the lesser known avenues in and outside our capital city and enjoy the views from the sentinels of the fortification (the gardjolas) much as the guards through the centuries used to see them (without tower-cranes and other recent monstrosities)

We will first visit the Hastings Gardens and then down to the Garden of Repose managed by Din L-Art Helwa. Then to the Argotti Gardens from where we will descend to the fortifications over Portes des Bombes. We will then visit the Sarria church, the old Horses' drinking trough and the former Methodist Church (now the Robert Samut hall). Next in line will be the Gardens ovedrlooking Msida Creek and thence through the pinetum to the Ta' Braxia Cemetry, with its beautiful Gothic chapel by architect Caruana Galizia.

We will contine the hill climb to the gardens overlooking Grand Harbour, below and above the Ruzar Briffa hospital. From the scenic former King George V gardens we will cross over to the Central bank side and through the tunnel to the Bus Terminus where we started.

Rating: Easy walk with inclines and declines as the approach of our capital city offers, but always on smooth surfaces

Duration: 4 hours solid, as the views have to be enjoyed and the monuments at Ta' Braxia well observed.

Meeting Place: City Gate Valletta

Time: 0900

Sunday 18th November GOZO WALK

The idea is to take the ferry to Gozo, without vehicles, and walk from Mgarr. The exact route is subject to change.

Rating: It should be a relatively easy walk.

Duration: About 4 hours

Meeting Place: Cirkewwa Ferry (Bus No 45)

Time: 0900

Saturday 24th Nov SOUTHERN CLIFFS (Scenic)

Highly scenic walk along cliff edges in the Zurrieq area. Walk requires a very good head for heights and includes one very long incline. Participation is limited to 25 people. Booking by email on quoting Southern Cliffs as subject.

Rating: Some rough terrain and sharp inclines.

Duration: approximately 3 hours.

Saturday 8th December ST PAUL'S BAY AREA (Scenic)

From our meeting place we walk along the cliff face where the BP tanks used to be and then take the path down to Mistra. Once at Mistra Bay, we walk past the fish farm up to Għajn Ħadid. From here we head to Imġiebaħ Bay; this part of the walk will take us close to the shore along small pebbly inlets and up and down over rock boulders. After a short stop at Mgiebah Bay to admire the view we take the path up to Selmun. We will take a path between the fields that will lead us down to Mistra Bay, up the steps and back to our meeting place.

Participation is limited to 25 people. Booking preferably by email on, or alternately by SMS to 79330805, quoting St Paul’s Bay Walk as subject.

Rating: A walk along country roads/lanes, bare rock, clay slopes and some stiff gradients. Proper walking boots recommended. (Will be postponed if the ground is wet as the clay becomes slippery).

Duration: about 3 hours depending on the pace and the state of the terrain.

Thursday 13th December WIED DALAM/HAS-SAPTAN (Scenic/historical)

Three Valleys – Wied Dalam, Wied ta’ Has Saptan, Wied Qoton. This walk is a true ramble in an area which although hemmed in by industrial and residential development is still relatively rural. Like other corners of the Maltese countryside, it has its own unique ambience.

The walk takes us through the main valleys of the area i.e., Wied Dalam, Wied ta’ Has Saptan and Wied Qoton. The exact route will depend on climatic conditions but we shall try and follow the valley beds as much as possible.

Rating: Moderate, with some steep inclines. Some walking on uneven surfaces and well as possible muddy patches.

Duration 3 to 4 hours

Meeting Place: Bettina Palace, Gudja (Bus No 8)

Time: 0930

Sunday 23rd December Mystery Walk.

Details to be divulged later. Participation is limited to 25 people. Booking preferably by email on, or alternately by SMS to 79425744, quoting December Mystery Walk as subject.

Rating: Some rough terrain and sharp inclines.

Duration: approximately 3 hours.

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