This morning we made our first walk in Gozo. We are staying in Xlendi which is a little place on the South-West of the island. It consists of what looks like a ravine, or a mini-fjord, and is flanked on the one side with apartments built in honey coloured limestone, and with rocks and short shrubbery on the other side.
We are staying in one of the apartments, ground floor at the front door, but a very high fourth floor on the opposite side where the balcony is.
The apartment does not get much sun as it is NW facing, only when the sun is about to go down do we see any of it, nice to get the setting sun, however, it does make the place here rather chilly for the time of year, and for the first time since we arrive on the Maltese island have I had to wear thermals inside. Outside, though it is glorious, lovely and warm in the sun, and the sky blue without any cloud. Obviously we are going to be outside most of the time, soaking up the sun as much as all the history and architecture of the island, but this morning I concentrated on the natural heritage which is simply amazing and so interesting.
We walked down a path only a stone’s throw away, and discovered a wealth of wildlife and flora, we also saw the most beautiful blue sea and rocks stretching as far as the eye could see. I got working with taking macro photos of the flowers and insects while Ian strolled on and sat resting on one of the many benches. One of the most pleasing factors was the sea breeze which was both refreshing and warmly scented.
The flower of the Mallow plant, and an ant lost on the large hot rocks. The shrubs and wild plants are low and stay small mainly because there is such a water shortage here, it is April right now and the people have not seen any rain since the New Year. The rocky soil also contributes to the stunted growth of the plants. Everywhere we see lizards, beautiful little creatures, very fast, though they love to just sun bathe, difficult subjects to take photos of. Their colour varies, but like this one green seems to predominate.
There is a steep road down to the little harbour, apparently at some time there are many of the Gozitan fishing boats anchored there, but now, now we only saw clear aqua marine water and fish of which I do not know the name.
This is the path leading down to the sea, there is also another path that leads over the hill towards the tower seen on the left and to some of the salt pans. But that is going to be a walk for another day.
In the photo on the right, Lichen, these lichen are growing colourfully on some of the rocks, the rocks are mainly limestone, with plainly to see fossils.
Here is one of the fossils, they are so interesting and make for an exciting walk, to think that these creatures are the makings of the sedentary rocks surrounding us.
One of my favourite photos and views of the morning was this flower, the name of it escapes me totally, please if someone knows can you tell me. It was delicately scented.
Among other plants and trees I’ve seen are the African Tamarix trees here, they are considered an endangered species, but seem to do well here.
And yet another creature I came across, a type of beetle I guess.
I know that there is a lot more to explore in nature here, this is only the first day and we have a whole month here. I hope to keep writing about what I discover and illustrate with my photos. Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed.