In what turned out to be a beautiful day, some 115 ramblers, including French, Canadians, Lebanese and British, turned up and were briefed by Alex with the bad news regarding Fomm ir-Rih.
From our meeting point at the Verdala Palace gate we followed a path that took us through Wied il-Buskett to the old Buskett Winery and up more paths and old quarries until we reached the famous cart ruts at Clapham Junction. We then trailed to 'la Roca,' a vantage point overlooking Wied il-Luq, passing again through lesser known woodlands, and uphill again till we passed over an underground flour mill planned by the British for emergency use during the Second World War.
At Misrah Ghar il-Kbir we stopped for a while to observe the troglodyte settlement. On reaching Dingli Cliffs, we turned to the left to reach an area called Wardija (from 'guardia' - look out position).
At this point, some 55 ramblers decided to take the shorter option back to the Verdala Palace, with Alex, whilst the rest continued the full walk as planned. From Wardija, the "full walk" group descended through Fawwara passing by the chapels dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and to the Annunciation, and up again to Gebel Ciantar and a close encounter with two cows (details of this encounter will be supplied to anyone sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope along with a donation of at least €100).
At the far end we could observe the paths we had just walked, the two chapels and wonderful views of Filfla. Heading inland again we descended along the marvellous Wied il-Girgenti stopping near the local shrine. Crossing the small bridge, we headed upwards along the beautiful Wied il-Luq and at Buskett, some walked, while others crawled over a rickety bridge, before the whole group reached the starting point from the other side of Verdala Palace.
Walk leader: Simon
Duration: 5 1/2 hours
Some photos below.