Saturday, 3 January 2009

Jan 3, 2009, The Four Santa Marias of the South

Quite a few ramblers were not deterred by the early start and the relatively long walk, and a group of thirty people were ready and eager to start walking, at the published time.

We started off by heading towards Hal Farrug at 0805am. Using country lanes, we walked on the ridge of Wied il-Kbir & Wied Sillani till we reached the point when the valley system bifurcates into Wied ta’ Kandja. Here we walked through this valley (or struggled through at times), until eventually we exited the valley and continued through secondary roads to Qrendi parish church, reaching it at 10:00am.

From Qrendi we continued towards Mqabba, passing through Hal Millieri, and reaching Mqabba parish church at approximately 11:00am. We were lucky that a lady offered to open up the recently-restored medieval chapel of San Bazilju for us. After this short and interesting break, we headed towards the outskirts of Safi & Kirkop, passing by Gnien Sir Alexander Ball, where we enjoyed a short rest to visit this lesser known orchard. After reaching the southern extremity of the MIA airport premises, we headed towards Gudja, reaching its parish church at 12:45 pm.

After another 15-minute break, we started our walk towards Hal Ghaxaq which we reached after just 35 minutes. Here some people opted to leave the walk, but twenty ramblers decided to complete it all… and reached the final destination through Wied Garnaw after passing by the chapels of Santu Kristu & Santa Lucija.

Distance : 24 km

Time : 6 ½ hours (0800-1430)

Walk leader : Simon

Some photos below, courtesy of Marcel Pisani

On the ridge of Wied il-Kbir

Wied ta’ Kandja

Mqabba village-core

San Bazilju Chapel – Mqabba

Main Alterpiece of adjacent chapel

Gnien Sir Alexander Ball

A rural shrine on our way to Gudja

Below is the route of the walk, courtesy of Sandro Bugeja

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