Jeeps across Gozo!

Gozo Travel Blog

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I got up, had a good breakfast, packed some snacks, and was anxiously wating by the from door of the hotel. A white open top safari-looking jeep pulls up. We are off. We meet up with the rest of the group at Mgarr, the city with the ferry port where my whole journey started.

I meet everyone and am suprised to find that my tour group is all Dutch. Can you believe that?!

From Mgarr, we travel north along the eastern coast of the island. We stop along the cliffs at a cafe for a coffee/tea break and to bask in the view of Comino and it beautiful Blue Lagoon.

We continue up the hills to the top of the bluffs at Nadur. What a view across the valley and blue/green coastline.

We head down the slope to cross the Ramala Valley. We cross fields and farms and even stop for a shephard and his sheep. We assend the other side and out to a point with a great view of the north coast and Ramala Bay. The word ramala is an Arabic word meaning sandy. From this point you can see the cove and a thick dark line that follows the coast just a bit offshore. The line is the original Roman wall thats top is at the sandy bottom. In fact, it's the only reason that there continues to be a sandy beach here as it doesn't allow erosion below the wall height.

We head inland and to Ggantija, the megalithic temples built around 3600 BC. It predates the pyramids in Egypt. You can even make out the altar in the main temple.

Now a stop to enjoy a sampling of Gozitan wine, cheese, and cactus liquer. There are also some shops with souvenirs made by the locals.

There's also junk but, it's easy to see what is handmade.

We have lunch in Gharb, a stop between villages. It has views to the west of San Dimitri and to the east of Ta Pinu. Lunch is typical tourist fare, but passable. The conversation is lively with 2 ladies from Amsterdam.

We trek along the Ghasri Valley to the dramatic 500 ft high cliffs. We stop to take in the view of the cliffs, the nearby lagoon, and the colorful Maltese fishing boats in the cove.

From here we drive to the southwest coast. We drive down a dirt road for quite a distance. In the distance we can see a quary where all of the stone for the construction on the island comes from. We stop and the guides lead us out to the edge of a cliff where we can see the pit where the stone is harvested.

It's an amazing and horrible sight and it's almost at the water's edge. It's only meters away from one of the ancient towers used for watch and communication between Gozo and Malta.

We continue down the road to the water and more dramatic cliffs on either side of a limestone shelf that we are on. We climb down a series of stairs and rocks edging along the eroded path along side a ledge of a boulder barely big enough for a foot. I had to cling to the rock's nooks and crannies to be able to take each step. The effort was quite worth it, even if a bit dangerous. I was able to the outcropping closest to the fantastic "Azure Window", the reason we are here. It is magnificent. It is weather and water's way of creating art.

The uninterupted view was just amazing. I climb back to the shelf and off we go, again.

Back inland to the basilica at Ta Pinu. Like all of the structures on the island it is all limestone. The details are magnificent. The warm glow of the limestone interior is quite unique. The church grounds have a view of the northwest coast and the Gordan lighthouse.

We travel from here along the north coast to the Marsalforn Valley. Along the way we pass the salt pans. These are limestone shelves where there are shallow trays that have been hollowed out. Seawater is allowed to evaporate and that leaves a high quality salt. Now inland to Victoria and the Citadel. The views of the Citadel, along the way, are stunning and inspiring.

I end my time with the tour now as I have spent much time at the Citadel. I thank my guide and grab some dinner to eat in my room. I'm too tired for dinner in a restaurant. I still need to pack for my onward journey back to Malta and it's capitol, Valletta. 




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photo by: aotw