Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Walks Programme: October to December 2009

October to December 2009

Below please find the programme of walks that RAM has organised for the last three months of 2009. Good walking shoes and suitable clothing for the weather are recommended. It is always a good idea to bring some drinking water along, especially on the longer walks. Some walks might present problems to anyone who is not used to walking over unpaved ground. RAM endeavours to adhere to the published walks programme but reserves the right to make changes without prior notice as the need arises. All walks are circular walks unless otherwise noted.
Walks are organized for the benefit of RAM members. Non-members can join for a nominal fee of €5-00. Participants in the walks will be asked to show their membership cards.
In case of very bad weather, walks might be cancelled. If in doubt please consult the blog (http://ramblersassociation.blogspot.com/) or phone 99497080.
RAM takes great care in picking the trails but one’s safety is ultimately one’s responsibility. One can choose to stop walking at any stage as one deems fit. RAM declines all responsibility for any personal injury or loss of belongings.
Our grading standards are described as follows:
Very Hard - only for hardy ramblers loving difficult challenges, ready to take a beating.
Hard - for the fit rambler in good physical shape to take on steep inclines and long stretches.
Moderate – for the average rambler who can take on three to four hour stretches of walking on uneven surfaces.
Easy – for the occasional rambler who prefers leisurely strides at a slower pace.

Finally, please make a note of the new 24-hour MEPA reporting telephone number, below.

Note: Booking a place on a restricted walk is not the same as buying a ticket to a concert. I.e., if a member is accepted on the walk, then the member cannot decide to transfer his/her place to another person. If a member cannot make it to a walk that he/she has booked, he/she should inform the organisers at once as there might be others on the waiting-list eagerly waiting to come along.

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Saturday 3rd October: Chapels, Redoubts &Towers.
(Scenic/Cultural/Historical)

The idea of this walk is discover lesser-known chapels and fortifications pertaining to this area. We shall strive to pass through secondary roads and footpaths as much as possible. This is a circular walk but there is a possibility to reduce the walk to 3 hours by using public transport from Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq. More details will be given during the same walk.
Rating: Moderate
Duration: about 5 hours
Meeting place: Kennedy Grove Memorial
Time: 8:15am sharp

Saturday 10th October: Ħal Għargħur Mystery Walk (Scenic, Cultural)
The idea of this walk is discover lesser-known areas pertaining to this area. We shall strive to pass through valleys, secondary roads and footpaths as much as possible. More details will be given during the same walk. This is NOT a restricted walk, but requires the participants’ full attention. Only experienced ramblers should opt for this walk.
Rating: Hard to Very Hard; steep inclines; only for experienced ramblers
Duration: About 4 hours
Meeting place: Għargħur Parish Church
Time: 8:30am

Sunday 18th October: Central Highlands. (Scenic/Cultural)
The walk will take ramblers to the hamlet of Ħax-Xluq with its picturesque chapel. From there we proceed in the direction of the Qasam area, through the disused Qrendi air-strip and pass by San Niklaw chapel onwards to Fawwara. We will enjoy the seaward sights there before proceeding to is-Salib tal-Għolja (Laferla Cross) where we can enjoy the landward view of the southern part of Malta. From Laferla Cross we return to Siġġiewi.
Rating: Moderate - A walk along country roads/lanes with some stiff gradients
Duration: about 3 hours
Meeting place: Siġġiewi’s Main Church Square
Time: 9:30am

Sunday 25th October: Qammieh. (Geological/Scenic/Cultural)
The main concept of this walk is to discover little known examples of our cultural heritage such as the Girna, Cart Ruts, Punic tombs and of the geological features such as the karstic doline at Il-Latnija and the scutella bed down Rdum il-Qammieh. While observing all these little known features, the panorama is continuously changing, with magnificent sea and country settings and rugged coastline, whence we will make our way to the Ramla taċ-Ċirkewwa. At the end of the walk the Paradise Bay Lido has been booked for a “Fenkata għall-frisk.” For the price of €18-00 we have managed the following menu, with a glass of wine or soft drink thrown in for good measure:


Appetizer: Bigilla, Ġbejniet tal-bzar, Ħobż biż-żejt, Fazola bit-tewm u tursin all served with Maltese bread and water biscuits.
Starter: Spaghetti with Rabbit Sauce
Main Course: Fried Rabbit in garlic & wine, served with fries and grilled veg
Dessert : Duo of Cheeses and Nuts

If you are interested in the lunch, please send your details, complete with a cheque made out to the Ramblers Association of Malta, to the above address. Booking opens on 1st October. There is no need to book for the walk itself.
Rating: Moderate - with some inclines and rough surfaces
Duration: about 3 hours (excluding lunch)
Meeting Place: Paradise Bay Car Park
Time: 9:00am


Wednesday 4th November: Żurrieq – Ħal Far – Safi. (Historical/Geological)
From the Xarolla Windmill ramblers will be led down to Ħal Far, stopping on the way at Tal-Baqqarija to visit the archaeological remains of two post-Muslim churches of Sta Katerina and Annunzjata, dating from the re-Christianisation of Malta. To Safi we will take a small country lane up to Ġnien Sir Alexander Ball. The way back to Żurrieq will take walkers through Safi centre.
Rating: Moderate – part of the walk is on lanes and roads with traffic.
Duration: about 3 hours.
Meeting Place: Xarolla Windmill, Żurrieq.
Time: 2:00pm


Sunday 8th November: Vapur ta’ l-Art (Historical)
This walk follows as much as possible the track of the old railway line between Valletta and Mdina. A few kilometres will be in the still un-built countryside but much of the walk will be in built-up areas. We shall try to identify as much as possible the remains of railway civil works that can still be seen. We shall back-track in some places due to development interrupting the line. Since most of the walk is along busy roads the number of participants is being limited to the first 25 persons. (If necessary this walk will be repeated).
This is a restricted non-circular walk, intended for those who did not make it the first time. Please book by email on ram205@gmail.com quoting subject “Il-Vapur ta’ L-Art”. If you have no access to email please ask someone to send an email on your behalf. If you do not know anyone at all who can send an email, then please send an SMS to 79425744. If you have sent an email, please do not send an SMS as well. Booking will open 10 days before the walk, i.e., on 29th October. Any requests before that date will be disregarded.
Rating: Moderate – with the attendant risks of walking along busy roads
Duration: 4-5 hours
Meeting Place: To be notified by email.
Time: Morning, exact time to be notified by email.


Wednesday 11th November: Naxxar to Salina (Scenic/Historical/Geological)
The walk will go through the rural farmland and coast of the Eastern side of Malta. From San Pawl tat-Tarġa church the direction is taken of Ta’ Alla u Ommu down to the cart-ruts there and through a country lane amid fields to Salina. Roman Catacombs there that were used by early Christians will be explored and described before the return journey is taken along the main route to Naxxar, where a wide sidewalk will ensure safety for all walkers.
Rating: Moderate – some country lanes are on clay and slippery when wet.
Duration: about 3.30 hours.
Meeting Place: Church of San Pawl tat- Tarġa, Naxxar.
Time: 2:00pm


Wednesday 18th November: Attard to Mdina Old Railway Track (Historical) Following the rail track from the Mdina end a visit is paid to the old stations at Mdina, Rabat, and Balzan besides taking in other important constructions connected to the Malta railway, like railway bridges, a dam, tunnels, as well as an old railway carriage. However the highlight of the event will be the visit to the private Railway Museum in Attard that is owned by Mr N. Azzopardi. Entrance will be free but donation will be welcome. Mr Azzopardi himself will take us round the museum explaining items of interest and a miniature model of the Malta Railway.
Rating: Easy - but longish
Duration: about 4 hours
Meeting Place: Roman Villa, Rabat.
Time: 2:00pm


Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd November: Gozo Weekend.
For this first time we are introducing an autumn edition of the popular event. The number of rooms made available by the Hotel San Andrea this time is just 20, which will restrict participation considerably.
The programme of walks for each day will be given only to participants at the hotel every morning during our stay.

Rates have remained unchanged from February. The rates per room on Half-board
basis, are:
Side view: €120.00 per twin room for 2 person 2 nights (€30.00 pppn)
Sea view: € 138.00 per twin room for 2 persons 2 nights (€34.50 pppn)
Side view: € 160.00 per triple room for 3 persons 2 nights (€26.67 pppn)
Sea view: € 182.00 per triple room for 3 persons 2 nights (€30.33 pppn)
Side view: € 82.00 per twin room for 1 person 2 nights (€ 41.00 pppn)
Sea view: € 90.00 per twin room for 1 person 2 nights (€ 45.00 pppn)

Please note that the third bed in the triple room will be a folding bed that needs to be folded away during the day to make space in the room.

No arrangements for the ferry crossing will be made because Gozo Channel will have discounted rates to make Gozo attractive for visitors. So we leave all participants in liberty to decide when and how to travel to Gozo. The first walk will be held on Friday afternoon at 2.30pm after check-in at the hotel.

Participants can check into the hotel anytime after noon on Friday 20th Nov. The management of San Andrea has always given us the best service and our fifth time should not be an exception. We have been promised good value for money once again. Only paid-up members need apply, as always on a first-come first-served basis.

If you are interested, please send your details, complete with a cheque made out to the Ramblers Association of Malta, to the above address. Booking opens on 20th October.


Wednesday 25th November: Central Malta (Scenic/Historical/Geological)
The walk will start off at the National Stadium of Ta’ Qali and head towards Attard through the Crafts Village and the National Park. Following old village roads to Lija the walk will take the country lane that leads to Mosta centre and on to the Ta’ Speranza chapel. Rambling along country lanes the route will lead to the Victoria Lines which will be given up as we approach our starting point at Ta’ Qali.
Rating: Easy – smooth surfaces with some car traffic possible
Duration: 3 ½ hrs
Meeting Place: Entrance to Ta’ Qali on the Attard-Rabat Road.
Time: 2:00pm


Wednesday 2nd December: Victoria Lines East. (Historical/Scenic)
This promises to be a marvellous tour that will take ramblers through British-formed army territory with such landmarks as Fort Madliena and the Victoria Lines, the garrison at Pembroke, etc. Add to this the many watch-towers from the time of the Knights along the rock coast and the overwhelming geological features of the Great Fault for an exceptionally interesting walk.
Rating: Moderate – some steep inclines and more uneven surfaces.
Duration: 3 ½ hrs
Meeting Place: Luxol Grounds
Time: 2:00pm



Sunday 6th December: Clapham Junction (Historical/Cultural)
We will visit the “Cart-ruts” at Clapham Junction where we will discuss some theories about the formation of these Neolithic ruts.
Rating: Easy
Duration: 2 ½ hrs
Meeting Place: Near the Buskett exit just before the steep hill leading to Dingli Cliffs.
Time: 9:30am


Tuesday 8th December: Birgu Kalkara Rinella Bormla (Scenic/Historical) From the Couvre Port the route will be taken to the picturesque bay of Kalkara and up to the old fort of Rinella, which will provide the views over the coastline. Passing by the old cemetery of the plague victims the road will lead to the Capuchin Convent of Santa Barbara and on to the Notre Dame Gate on the Cottonera fortifications. The high walls will lead down to Bormla and on to the Birgu starting point.
Rating: Easy – smooth surfaces and inclines.
Duration: 3.30 hrs
Meeting Place: Bus Terminus at Birgu
Time: 2:00pm


Sunday 13th December: From Tower to Battery: (Scenic/Historical/Cultural) The idea of the walk is to take in the many interesting features that lie in the route from the luxurious Selmun Palace built for leisure by the Knights to the rudimentary coast-guard battery at Ghadira that was later converted by the British into a gun-post and lately by the Maltese into a Museum of the traditional tuna-fishing trade. We will try to arrange for a visit to the museum, where Mr Anthony Valletta will explain the history of the old battery and then go on to explain the very interesting craft of fishing for tuna in the old way using cages. On the way from Tower to Battery some interesting features will be met and explored, like paleo-christian tombs and old bee-hive stations. For those who opt not to walk back to their cars after the visit to the Tunnara Museum, from Ghadira it is easy to take a bus up to the old Bellview.
Rating: Moderate – with rough ground and some steep inclines.
Duration: 5 hrs (including visit to Tunnara museum)
Meeting Place: Old Belleview, Mellieha
Time: 9:00am



Saturday 19th December 2009: Wied Liemu (Scenic/Cultural/Geological)
From San Duminku in Rabat we shall proceed to the old hamlet of Santa Katerina where we shall see vernacular dwellings and a chapel. From there we proceed to one of the most fertile valleys in Malta, namely Wied Liemu which is highly scenic. On the way down, we shall see interesting geological features. Walking through the valley and surrounding areas we will encounter spring water, irrigated land and typical Mediterranean vegetation.
Rating: Moderate
Duration: about 3 hours.
Meeting Place: San Duminku Church, Rabat
Time: 9:00am

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