We finally left Malta after 11 nights in the marina there. We stayed on longer than originally planned in order to have some work done on the boat. Local prices for work are good and with no language barrier, skipper was able to explain the problems (various minor leaks) and act as mate to the guy who fixed them for us. We enjoyed our rather lazy spell in Malta and couldn’t complain at the spectacular views of Valletta all around us.
We haven’t gone far! We had a very leisurely sail in light winds to Malta’s little sister island, Gozo. It took us 4 hours to cover 15 miles, but we weren’t in any hurry. On the way we had a look at the fabled Blue Lagoon on the even smaller island of Comino between Malta and Gozo and could see where it got its name from the incredible colour of the water. We didn’t stop though, as it was full of tripper boats and far too crowded to enjoy.
In contrast, we are now berthed in the very pretty harbour of Mgarr on Gozo and the main excitement is the to-ing and fro-ing of ferries (not too close) and the landings of a seaplane further along our pontoon.
Mgarr port/marina & Ggantija temple:
Today (Thur) we took the bus into the main town of Victoria, or Rabat to use its local name. We walked around the ramparts of its citadel and admired the view from the top of them. Gozo is only 14km by 7km and you could see the sea in all directions. We were intrigued by a look inside the huge stone grain stores that were carved into the rock at the beginning of the 17th century to supply the whole population in the case of a siege. Apparently each of the three could hold enough grain to feed the population for 50 days. They were a lovely rounded shape tapering to an access hole above and had a second life in later times as water reservoirs in use right up until a few years ago.
After an enjoyable lunch of a platter of local cheeses and sausage in an attractive square, we took another bus (they are very cheap) to the megalithic temples at Ggantija. We didn’t think they were as interesting as the ones on Malta, but at least they weren’t covered by a tent. The size of some of the stones is quite incredible, especially those transported over a kilometre from where they were found and this over 5000 years ago!
We returned to the boat after a hot and dusty 11/2 hour walk, mostly along narrow busy roads which was not a good plan. Think it will have to be more buses next time we explore, which is a shame as the island is so small and we were looking forward to striding out.