Travelled: Only by scooter, the Hymer is on ramps and hooked up to electricity
Stayed: Camping Malta, L-Armier, €21.50 pd, all the usual services. N35.99484, E14,36686.
We sit around chatting to John and Linda past our normal bed-time last night. Another very quiet night, broken by some thunder around 6am. A thunder storm circled Malta yesterday and it’s obviously still out there somewhere. Its also a little cooler and cloudy this morning, only 25° which may make for a good day to visit Gozo.
After breakfast we set off on the road from hell up the hill, turn for the main road of Triq-Il-Marfa then down to the ferry terminal at Ćirkewwa. It takes only 5 minutes and we are at the front of the queue. The ferry loads shortly after and we are Gozo bound. Gozo is less than a quarter the size of Malta and a tenth the population about 30,000 people, but we didn’t see many of them today.
We get a closer look at the Island of Comino as we cross the Gozo Channel. We plan a trip to Comino later in the week.
Our first glimpse of Mgarr Harbour, looks nice.
The Lonely Planet has a driving tour of northern Gozo, so we will do the scooter version of that. Our first stop out of the port is the viewing point near Qala.
Our next stop is San Blas Bay. Apparently renowned for its red sand beach, its should be famous for its incredibly steep road. We park the scooter half way down and walk. There is a 4WD service for €2.50pp each way, so we walk.
San Blas Bay looks a little more orange than red. It was a hard walk back up to the scooter.
Back on the main road at Nadur we continue west turning for Ramla Bay. More orange sand but its more like what we would call a beach.
The road climbs steeply from Rambla Bay. We stop at another viewing point that looks over the terraced fields back toward the bay.
Five kilometres further west we look down on Marsalforn, thinking its time for a late lunch we ride into town and park.
The waterfront at Marsalforn, lots of lively restuarants and tat.
Table 19 looks good and we enjoyed a pleasant lunch overlooking the bay.
After lunch we continue our ride around Xwieni Bay and the salt pans. The bay itself has some unusually weathered headlands and sea caves. The harvesting of salt on Gozo goes back hundred of years and it’s still practiced today in these small drying ponds.
There is a road diversion and we end up on the long winding concrete road that runs through acres of farmlands and the odd castle like house.
Finally back on the main road we get a clear look at Basilica of Ta’Pinu in the distance and make that our next stop.
What makes the Basilica of Ta’Pinu really different is its location. Standing out on a ridge line, a long way from the nearest town.
Construction was only completed in 1990, the workmanship is beautiful.
One of the small chapels that side the crossover.
Back outside there are four semi-circular walls. These walls are covered with mosaics depicting scenes from the bible. Amazing detail, we also note that each panel has been sponsored by someone. One of those panels by an Australian obviously of Maltese descent.
Its been a long day on the scooter, so we decide to head back to the Hymer and go for a swim. So we make our way back to Mgarr and the ferry which conveniently has just arrived.