MGARR HARBOUR MUSINGS

Yesterday we had took a lovely walk around the harbour of Mgarr here on Gozo. It is the first village that you get to see when you arrive on the island because the ferry docks here. I love this fishing village as it is overshadowed by beautiful rock formations, plenty of lovely greenery and wild flowers too right now, and colourful fishing boats, besides yachts and ferries of all sorts to enable visitors to visit some of the other smaller islands and take a cruise around Gozo.

Yesterday it was quiet, or else it was the quiet time of the day (which runs from 12:30 until 16:00hrs. Some men were sitting on the stairs of a lovely old building, reading the newspaper and chatting. The ferry station was busy whenever the ferry was due to arrive or to leave.

We took coffee at a kiosk right down by the water and sat for a long time watching the few activities taking place, and enjoying the sun. It is a quiet place during winter, a peaceful place. We then walked along the original part of the harbour where the first ferries from mainland Malta used to arrive long ago at the time when the harbour was still undeep, and walked along the promenade, which for both of us had plenty to offer, Ian loves looking at the sea and the boats, while I looked upwards direction Ghajnsielem at all the wonderful rock formations, the plants, and even the few farms where I saw tomatoes ripening in the sun, and that during January!

We spent the rest of the afternoon just walking, resting, enjoying the sunshine and taking in the peace and quiet of this lovely little harbour, and it wasn’t even cold.

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DELIGHTFUL CLIFFS

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Xlendi, is a village on the South-West coast of Gozo, it is surrounded by steep cliffs to one side, they look very impressive from every angle.  One can climb them via stairs that lead one to the Caroline cave, this walk gives lovely views over the bay, the clear water, sometimes blue, sometimes green.  It is of great interest to people that are interested in the rocks and flora that grows in the crevices.  Beautiful!  So one day we walked, or rather climbed this delightful hike and I like to share some of what we found.

20161221_134732The limestone rocks along the walk. 20161221_135022The rocks are amazing, full of fossils, beautifully light in colour.

And finally one goes down to the Caroline Cave where the water laps against the weathered rocks.

Some of the flora along the walk, amazing how the plants grow out of the crevices of the rocks, and look so healthy and fresh!

Back down at the sea front. Xlendi is actually a fishing village, though a lot of it’s income these days comes from tourism too.  We always love going to Xlendi, it was the first place we stayed in last spring, we get there by bus in about five minutes from here and because there are more and other beautiful cliff walks to be found there we never get bored, always we come across something new, a plant, an insect, always something interesting to see.  I also love the trees in the square, there are some old Tamarisk trees, which look like old men riddled with arthritis, but they are beautiful too.

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I guess I will never, no matter how small the island of Gozo is, find at a loss of what to go and explore, so much to see and do, in fact a great place to live.

 

FISHERMEN AT WORK

Still in Marsaxlokk village,  as I was looking out of the window late one evening, and minding my own thoughts, one of the fishing boats arrived, it was the first time I actually saw more than the boats, the men, and the nets, I was already wondering when I would see the fish being brought to shore, and I was a bit curious about that.

Locally I have seen no butcher shops in this village, and that suits me fine, moreover there are several very successful fish shops that sell a whole range of fish and shellfish. Anyway to go back to my story, the boat arrived, and already the little refrigerated van was standing ready on the pier, door open.
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Next was all hands on deck, even the driver of the little van is helping, the fish had been kept cool in the bottom of the boat, in a special compartment closed off from the rest of the boat, I see the men loading the fish and handing the plastic containers to be stacked into the little van.  It did not take them long, in fact there seemed very little fish to be brought ashore.

It’s incredible how hard these fishermen work and how much time they put into mending and untangling their nets, this alone is a time consuming job and you always see the men doing so.  In fact though I have also seen some women at this work here in the village.

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Finally they are unloading some of the nets and putting them on the pier, and they left again, not sure if it was to catch more fish or what.  The woman and the little van also drove off.  You see these little white refrigerated vans all over the place around here.

Fishing nets are here drying in the sun, and also being unravelled.  And the man is mending nets, I’ve seen more of them do this, they hold the net with their feet and using a large needle-like implement they sew and repair the nets.

Thanks to the fishermen for letting me photograph them, much appreciated.  It’s great to see something of the local activity, this is a fishing village after all.