News

This page will always contain the latest public communications of the Ramblers’ Association. Members of the Association also receive detailed newsletters by email containing the latest news on the work being done by the Association.

Wednesday 24th May : Ad Hoc Cultural Walk on the N/W outskirts of Mosta

Dr. George Cassar will be leading the cultural tour to three very interesting sites on the northwest outskirts of Mosta.

The tour will start with a guided visit to the Bistra catacombs, which have recently been given an expertly face-lift to make them accessible to the public.  A new interpretation centre as well as a very modern and up-to-date protective marquee have been built to envelope the surprising remains which few know of.  The modern set-up was possible through funds coming from the EU. (An entrance fee of €3 will be charged on site)

The walk will then proceed to the Speranza chapel, which will be opened for our visit to witness the rich decoration of the interior baroque.  The chapel has been a site of devotion towards Our Lady of Hope for centuries and consequently always kept in a good state of preservation.  It was reputedly built on the underlying cave where a maiden tending sheep sought cover from marauding corsairs during one of their raids on Malta during the time of the Knights.

Trekking down through valley is impossible due to the wild vegetation so the shortest route is taken to the chapel of St Paul the Hermit that lies in the depth of the valley inside a large cave.  The ramblers have often passed by the chapel but this time round the chapel will again be opened for the occasion and the primordial chapel preceding the existing one explained.  Once down in the valley the hardy ramblers can climb visit to the lesser known paleo-christian tomb dug in the rock face in the vicinity.

Time: 2.45pm

Meeting Place:Bus Stop at San Ġuzepp tat-Targa,
at junction of the entrance to the Ġnien l-Għarusa tal-Mosta, Mosta.

Duration: 3-4 hours

Grading: Easy.

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May Walks on Wednesdays

An extra walks will be held in May as follows.
Wednesday 10th May: Girgenti – Buskett and surrounding country side
The walk will take us downhiil Wied Girgenti, thru the green valley of Wied Il-Luq, uphill along the wooded fringes of Buskett Gardens towards the garrigue plain with spectacular views and a wild array of shallow coralline quarries and many lesser  visited cart ruts. From here we cross in front of Ta’ Zuta quarry to Wied Girgenti downhill to the Sanctuary.
Duration: about 3 hours
Rating: some easy, mostly moderate
Meeting Place: Siggiewi parish church
Meeting time: 1:30p.m.
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April Walks on Wednesdays

Two extra walks will be held in April as follows.

Wednesday 12th April 2017:
Hugging the coastline:  Floriana-Pieta-Msida-Ta Xbiex- Gzira-Sliema-St. Julians -Pembroke-Bahar ic Caghaq.
This is a straight walk along the busy coastline between Floriana and finishing at Bahar ic Caghaq. It is not a circular walk but one may catch the bus back from the finishing point or opt to catch the bus anywhere along the route.
Meeting Place:                By Phoenicia Hotel Floriana
Time:                                  14:00
Rating:                               Easy
Duration                             3.5hrs

Wednesday 26th Arpil 2017 :
Around Zebbug and Siggiewi
A walk abundant with views, passing ridges, valleys and rural areas taking us through Wied Hanzir, Ta’ Kandja, Tal-Providenza, Ta’ Haxluq, Siggiewi and Wied Hesri.
Meeting Place: the ex-Peridot Hall in Zebbug (at the bottom of the hill on your way to Siggiewi)
Time:                  14:00
Rating:                Moderate
Duration:              up to 3 hrs

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Walks Programme – April to June 2017

Spring Walks Calendar – 2017

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Sunday 2nd April: Qrendi – Zurrieq and the surrounding countryside

A scenic walk along lovely rustic lanes and paths in this area.

Duration: about 3 to 4 hours  
Rating: Moderate
Meeting Place: Qrendi – in front of the Chapel at Il-Maqluba
Time: 09:00


Sunday 9th: Naxxar to Baħar iċ-Cagħaq (Scenic)

This is dedicated to Hugh Pace who had originally led this walk. We will be following the Victoria Lines with views from a high vantage point, coming back along country lanes. There will be rough terrain and steep inclines, which could be slippery, if wet.

Duration: about 3 to 4 hours  
Rating: Hard with some inclines and rough terrain
Meeting Place: St. Paul’s Chapel, San Pawl tat-Targa)
Time: 09:00   


Wednesday 12th: Hugging the coastline:  Floriana-Pieta-Msida-Ta Xbiex- Gzira-Sliema-St. Julians -Pembroke-Bahar ic Caghaq. (NEW!)

This is a straight walk along the busy coastline between Floriana and finishing at Bahar ic Caghaq. It is not a circular walk but one may catch the bus back from the finishing point or opt to catch the bus anywhere along the route.
Meeting Place:                By Phoenicia Hotel Floriana
Time:                                  14:00
Rating:                               Easy
Duration                             3.5hrs

Sunday 16th April:   Easter Sunday Special Treat
Guided visit to the University Botanical Collection      

A special Easter treat exclusively organised for the Ramblers to visit the Botanical Collections of the University of Malta at the Argotti Gardens. The leading authority of the Botanical faculty will be explaining the special species grown and preserved there and give other information about the exotic plants at the time of spring when the plants are at their best.  A fee of €5 will be payable by the participants whose numbers will be restricted. Applications will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis.  Booking opens on 1st April and last calls will be received by Wednesday 12th April.  A rare opportunity not to be missed.

Duration: 2 hours
Rating: Very easy and short so that all participants will be back home by noon for the Easter lunch.
Meeting place:       Sarria Church, Floriana
Time: 09.00 sharp.


Sunday 23rd: Kirkop – Mqabba – Qrendi – Kirkop (Historical-Cultural)

From Kirkop Parish Square we walk along the outskirts of the village and proceed to Tar-Robba, then through Mqabba and on to Qrendi, passing by a number of interesting historical sites. The walk will also include a visit to the recently restored Mqabba “Plague Hospital”

Duration: about 3.5 hours  
Rating: Easy
Meeting Place: Kirkop Parish Church
Time: 09:00


Wednesday 26th: Around Zebbug and Siggiewi (NEW!)

A walk abundant with views, passing ridges, valleys and rural areas taking us through Wied Hanzir, Ta’ Kandja, Tal-Providenza, Ta’ Haxluq, Siggiewi and Wied Hesri.
Meeting Place: the ex-Peridot Hall in Zebbug (at the bottom of the hill on your way to Siggiewi)
Time:                  14:00
Rating:                Moderate
Duration:              up to 3 hrs

Sunday 30th:   Żejtun-Marsaxlokk-Żejtun. (Scenic and historical).

A fairly-long circular walk covering urban and rural features such as old residencies, alleys, chapels, forts, old hamlets, cliffs, and others. The walk is in three parts: the first one is urban, the second is rural and coastal, and the third is urban on returning to Żejtun from the Ħal Biżbud side. Ramblers are urged to refrain from running ahead or lagging behind during this interesting walk. So please keep close as a group for the benefit of all participants. A 10-15 minute break will be taken near one of the features being visited.

Duration: Approximately 5 hours.
Rating: Moderate to hard (mainly because of the length) with some inclines.
Meeting Place: Near Żejtun Parish Church of St Catherine.
Time: 09:00


29th April to 6th May: Catalunya Trekking Festival in Spain

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Sunday 7th May: Mellieha – Mistra Valley and Bay – Selmun Bay
(Coastal and Country /Scenic)

From Mellieha Park and Drive we head down to Mistra Valley past an ancient apiary then onto Mistra Bay. We walk up past Mistra Battery than we cut across to Fort Campbell down through the countryside to Mgiebeh (Selmun Bay). After a much needed rest at Selmun Bay we head along the coast up to il- Kortin and back to our starting point.

Duration: Approximately 3 hours.
Rating: Moderate to hard due to rough terrain and steep inclines
Meeting Place: Mellieha Park and Drive (Valyou shopping centre)
Time: 09:00 


Wednesday 10th May: Girgenti – Buskett and surrounding country side (NEW!)

The walk will take us downhiil Wied Girgenti, thru the green valley of Wied Il-Luq, uphill along the wooded fringes of Buskett Gardens towards the garrigue plain with spectacular views and a wild array of shallow coralline quarries and many lesser  visited cart ruts. From here we cross in front of Ta’ Zuta quarry to Wied Girgenti downhill to the Sanctuary.
Duration: about 3 hours
Rating: some easy, mostly moderate
Meeting Place: Siggiewi parish church
Meeting time: 1:30p.m.

Sunday 14th May: COMINO – A coastal walk around Comino

An interesting and scenic tour of the smallest of the Maltese Islands visiting the historical sites and geological features.  There is no shade, so come prepared. Bring a packed lunch and swim wear (optional).

The ferry boat ride to and from Comino will carry a fee of €10, payable on the spot to committee members so that all ramblers leave together.  Please be on time at 08:30 hrs to get the tickets.

Duration: 5 hours. Ferry back at about 2 p.m. (option to catch later ferry)
Rating: Moderate with rough ground
Meeting Place: Cirkewwa near Comino ferry boats
Time: 08:30 to leave at 08:45.


Sunday 21st May: There will be two walks being offered today.

  1. RESTRICTED WALK : Walking Along the Fault

    Many have heard of the famous Rift Valley in Africa but few people know that we have something similar here in Malta. We shall be following the edge of the fault and will locate geological features which are typical. The walk is along rugged cliffs and is not for the faint-hearted; it is hard and one must be
    sure-footed and have a good head for heights.This walk is restricted to a small limited number on a first come, first accepted basis. Time and meeting place will be communicated individually by email. The walk may be repeated in future should there be demand.
    This walk is to be considered as
    a hard one because of the rough terrain.To book send an email (not an SMS) with the subject –Walking along the Fault – to ram205@gmail.com.
    Booking opens on the 10th of May.  Kindly note that any emails arriving before the 10th of May will be ignored.
  2. Bahar ic-Caghaq – Pembroke – Madliena (Scenic / Cultural)An interesting walk through the British Garrison of Pembroke visiting some very interesting sites and buildings before heading for the Madliena Heights and then back down to Bahar ic-Caghaq.Duration: About 3 hrs
    Rating: Moderate but with sections of rough terrain and some inclines.
    Meeting Place: Bahar ic-Caghaq by the Ice Cream Kiosk.
    Time: 09:00

Wednesday 24th May : Ad Hoc Cultural Walk on the N/W outskirts of Mosta (NEW!)

Dr George Cassar will be leading the cultural tour to three very interesting sites on the northwest outskirts of Mosta.

The tour will start with a guided visit to the Bistra catacombs, which have recently been given an expertly face-lift to make them accessible to the public. A new interpretation centre as well as a very modern and up-to-date protective marquee have been built to envelope the surprising remains which few know of. The modern set-up was possible through funds coming from the EU. (An entrance fee of €3 will be charged on site)

The walk will then proceed to the Speranza chapel, which will be opened for our visit to witness the rich decoration of the interior baroque. The chapel has been a site of devotion towards Our Lady of Hope for centuries and consequently always kept in a good state of preservation. It was reputedly built on the underlying cave where a maiden tending sheep sought cover from marauding corsairs during one of their raids on Malta during the time of the Knights.

Trekking down through valley is impossible due to the wild vegetation so the shortest route is taken to the chapel of St Paul the Hermit that lies in the depth of the valley inside a large cave. The ramblers have often passed by the chapel but this time round the chapel will again be opened for the occasion and the primordial chapel preceding the existing one explained. Once down in the valley the hardy ramblers can climb visit to the lesser known paleo-christian tomb dug in the rock face in the vicinity.

Time: 2.45pm
Meeting Place: Bus Stop at San Guzepp tat-Targa, at junction of the entrance to the Gnien l-Gharusa tal-Mosta, Mosta.
Duration: 3-4 hours
Grading: Easy.


Sunday 28th May: Gozo

From Mgarr (Gozo), we will take the scenic route to Qala Belveder, passing by il-Mithna, which will lead us down to the valley and bay of Dahlet Qorrot. Crossing this valley past many citrus trees, will take us to the outskirts of Nadur and back to the ferry. We will meet several troglodyte caves on our way and those who are more adventurous, can explore them at will.

Duration: From 3 to 4 hours (walking)
Rating: Moderate but with sections of rough terrain.
Meeting Place: Take the 08:15 ferry from Cirkewwa.
Time: The walk will be starting from Mgarr Harbour at 08:45.


Wednesday 31st May: Mosta, Rabat (Chadwick Lakes and Dwejra Lines), Mosta
(Scenic/ historical)

Our very interesting circular walk leads us through parts of the valley of the Chadwick Lakes (Wied Qlejja), uphill to the Dwejra Lines and downhill back to the starting point. Rural landscape with deep valleys and fertile farmland. Good view.

Duration: Approximately 2-3 hours.
Rating: Easy to Moderate with some inclines.
Meeting Place: Mosta Parish Church
Time: 16:00 (Please note the change in the starting time)


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Sunday 4th June: Dingli Area (Scenic)

This scenic walk along Dingli Cliffs will take us past the radar station towards Bobbyland restaurant and the surrounding area. Please note the earlier meeting time due to the summer heat.

Duration: Approximately 3-4 hours.
Rating: Moderate with some rough terrain
Meeting Place: St Mary Magdalene Chapel, Triq Panoramika, Dingli Cliffs
Time: 08:30   (Please note the change in the starting time)


Sunday 11th June: Ghadira – Paradise Bay – and surrounding country roads (Scenic)

A circular walk taking us through some wooded areas and along rocky coastline and sandy beaches to the North of the Island.

Duration: Approximately 3-4 hours.
Rating: Easy to Moderate with some inclines.
Meeting Place: Mellieha Bay Hotel parking place (at Ghadira)
Time: 08:30

Ramblers may wish to follow up the walk with a cooling swim at Ghadira Bay!


Wednesday 14th June: Qawra, Burmarrad, Bidnija, Mosta, Qawra
(Scenic and historical)

From the “Bella Vista Hotel” at Qawra, we walk through the important Salina National Park, pass by the Birdpark and the chapel of St. Michael. At Burmarrad, we visit the famous Church of San Pawl Milqi. Then, our tour leads us uphill to Bidnija. We pass the Parish Church and go downhill to the outskirts of Mosta and through the fertile fields back to the starting point. This beautiful landscape is of great historical importance for the Roman period in Malta.

Duration: Approximately 2 – 3 hours.
Rating: Easy to moderate with some inclines.
Meeting Place: Kennedy memorial in Salini Park
Time: 16:00


Sunday 18th June: Five Wayside-Chapels Trail (Scenic/ Geological)

As the name suggests, we will be passing by these five wayside chapels which unfortunately will surely be closed. Along the way we will pass through a deep valley, by collapsed bridges, along a wider plain with a feature called “Risq il-Widien”. Catacombs, Beehives, Hard-stone Quarries and Cart-ruts will be viewed on this circular walk.

Duration: 3 to 4 hrs     
Rating: Moderate
Meeting place: San Pawl tat-Targa Chapel (Bus 260 every hour)
Time: 08:30


Sunday 25th June: Gardens and Bastions

A coastline walk around the Valletta bastions taking in the restored bridge to the breakwater and the side beneath St Elmo then rising up to the scenic gardens overlooking Grand Harbour.

The walk will end up with an optional lunch at the Ordnance Pub to celebrate the end of the Walking season. (Those staying on for lunch are requested to phone by Saturday 24th to reserve seating.)

Price indication:  A selection of Pasta: €10.50/ Burgers with salad & chips: €8.50/ Various salads: €9.50.

Rating: Moderate
Duration: 3 hrs + lunch
Meeting Place: Hotel Phoenicia front
Time: 08:30


Wednesday: 28th June: Luqa, Santa Lucija, Ghaxaq, Gudja, Bir Miftuh, Luqa
(Scenic and historical)

From the centre of Luqa, we walk through rural farmland to Santa Lucija where we visit the Chinese Garden and the Garden of Serenity. From there, we ramble on, surrounded by fertile fields to the Chapel of Santa Lucija and at Ghaxaq, to the Torri Kalamija and the Chapel of Christus. Then, our very interesting tour leads us via the centres of Ghaxaq and Gudja to the chapel of Santa Marija ta’ Bir Miftuh and back to the starting point at Luqa.

Duration: 3 to 4 hrs
Rating: Easy to moderate with some inclines
Meeting Place: Luqa Parish Church
Time: 16:00


Wednesday 12th July: Dingli, Buskett, Dingli (Scenic and historical)

From the centre of Dingli, we walk to the village of Buskett, where we visit the famous sites of Clapham Junction (cart ruts) and of Ghar il-Kbir (cave dwellings). After that, we walk through a rustic landscape to the entrance of Girgenti Palace (Inquisitor’s Palace) and then along Dingli Cliffs, passing by the Chapel of Saint Mary Magdalen, back to the starting point.

Duration: 2 to 3 hrs
Rating: Easy to Moderate with some inclines.
Meeting Place: Dingli Parish Church
Time: 16:00


Wednesday 26th: Attard, Lija, Mosta, Ta’ Qali, Attard (Scenic and historical)

Our circular tour leads us from Attard to the centre of Lija and its Paris Church, then through fertile fields to Mosta, where we pass by the Pama Shopping Village and soon reach the Mosta Parish Church with its magnificent dome. We walk back to Attard via Ta’ Qali. The view over the landscape is especially good near Lija and at Ta’ Qali.

Duration: 2 to 3 hrs
Rating: Easy to Moderate with some inclines.
Meeting Place: Attard Parish Church.
Time: 16:00


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PR – ERA President Meets Environment Minister

8th March 2017

Ms. Lis Nielsen meets Environment Minister Jose Herrera

The Ramblers’ Association of Malta had the pleasure to welcome the President of the European Ramblers’ Association Ms. Lis Nielsen to Malta over the past few days. The European Ramblers’ Association counts over 58 walking organisations from 32 different European countries and represents more than 3 million registered walkers.

During her stay Ms Nielsen accompanied the Ramblers’ Association for a courtesy visit to the Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change Jose Herrera. In the course of this meeting the association had the opportunity to discuss problems relating to the right of access to the Maltese countryside, where difficulties such as illegal gates, fraudulent signs and phony claims over public paths remain a nuisance faced regularly by all walkers. 

Ms. Nielsen indicated that such efforts to guarantee public access to nature were in line with the European Ramblers’ Association’s latest resolution, which was approved in 2016. The resolution “Open up Europe’s Natural Environment!” puts emphasis on the right of access to nature, through which everyone should be able to experience Europe’s natural and cultural heritage. The only limitations to this right which should be acceptable are those which are transparent and justifiable. In addition the resolution says that legal and planning regulations ought to take the interests of walkers into account, and identifies the creation of marked trails as an essential tool to promote greater care of the countryside. Ms. Nielsen also stressed that the right of access to nature would need to take different forms in different countries, depending on the specific challenges being faced, and drew a number of parallels between Malta and her home country of Denmark on this matter.

The Ramblers’ Association of Malta also took the opportunity to express its views about several initiatives being taken by the Ministry. In particular the association expressed its positive view on the fact that the management plans for various Natura 2000 sites had now been completed, and believes that these would be of great benefit to the environment if implemented correctly and resourced properly. The association is also pleased about the planned afforestation projects, which would definitely improve quality of life, enhance the dwindling natural environment and protect it from future over-development. Finally the association also welcomes the fact that the Minister for the Environment has put his foot down and launched an investigation into why the Planning Authority was regularly ignoring the advice emanating from the Environment Authority when issuing permits. It is the opinion of the association that if the MEPA Demerger has any hope of working properly, the present state of affairs cannot be allowed to persist.

The association concluded the meeting by saying that it was willing to support the work of the Environment and Resources Authority and urged it to seek its cooperation in matters of common interest. In particular the association reiterated its offer to support enforcement against illegalities in the countryside by reporting such occurrences during the course of its regularly held walks, as well as mobilising its members to clean up the countryside from dumping by unscrupulous individuals. Last but not least it is also willing to help to achieve the goals of the recent management plans and conservation orders when this lies within its means and expertise.

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Mr. Lino Bugeja – A Tribute

The Management Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Mdina and the Executive of the Ramblers’ Association of Malta on 17th February 2017, held a Colloquium on the ethos of the
Mr. Lino Bugeja, as well as the significance and subject matter of his last book publication
A MALTESE ODYSSEY.

It is not necessary to state the obvious – that Lino was a complete man and a true gentleman. Everyone who knew Lino, either because one was a student of his or crossed his way in the various fields close to his heart, like Sport, Education, Maltese Heritage, the Cultural and Natural Environment and of course Birgu, will vouch for an upright and enthusiastic character that generated sympathy and esteem.

Sport education was his profession and career, and being a man with a big heart he continuously strove to promote the importance of sport and exercise for mental and physical health. He arduously believed that the competitiveness as well as the physical demands of sport helped in no small way in the preparation of a successful and healthy life. At the same time his conviction that the cultural and natural heritage of this country were second to none made him foster them untiringly. His purpose was that of amplifying a healthy life with refinements of the intellect.

Such honourable sentiments that he strongly believed in induced him to lead an exemplary life during which he incessantly promoted awareness of the benefits of exercise, especially in an evolving obese Malta, and awareness of the Maltese natural and cultural heritage. His recent book publications are, and will remain, a living testimony.

It was his big heart that drove Lino, at the venerable age of 72 and his walking days nearly over, to set up the Ramblers’ Association of Malta in 2005. He feared for future generations that the pleasure of walking in open spaces, which he relished unhindered throughout his days, was being taken away slowly but steadily. For Lino life was beautiful, and bountiful was nature’s provision. He felt the need to ensure that the beauty of nature in all its aspects was protected and will remain accessible to all for ever, as it was for him. His love required that what he most enjoyed over his lifetime of roaming along the coastal plains and rural areas, with their dearth of archaeological and cultural wealth, should be guaranteed for our children. His original intention for the Ramblers’ Association was to raise immediate awareness of, and put a stop to, the obstacles prohibiting ordinary folk from the enjoyment of open spaces and the cultural heritage that lies within, sometimes hidden and unknown, but always mysterious.

Lino believed that the most important and marvelous things in life are God’s free gifts to all mankind, and should remain free and accessible to all. I remember that he enthusiastically laboured for the appreciation and protection of the simple things that made life beautiful, the common wealth of nature and natural landscapes, as adapted by our forefathers only for the purpose of extracting the essentials for their simple livelihood. As he strove to protect this rich natural and cultural heritage from being devastated by wanton greed and lofty inessentials, he was slandered and addressed words one never hears in the bible. For his righteous stand for free access to a particular historical site in the countryside, he was libelled.

I was many times with him when we appealed to the authorities, under both administrations. Both applauded Lino’s principles during meetings held on accessibility and protection, but they only gave lip service. He never lost heart however, and his outlook on life remained positive and optimistic even during adverse situations. What the authorities would not formalise through a Definitive Map of the Maltese Islands, even after tabling a Parliamentary petition way back in 2008, with his consent and encouragement the Association started challenging right of access by the peaceful force of numbers, organising weekly walks for members on paths and lanes which were historically public as evidenced from old ordinance maps.

It grieved Lino that the Ramblers’ Association appeals for right of access fell on deaf official ears. In his periodical writings on the subject in the media he often rebuked both administrations for the half-baked actions to appease our environmental concerns whilst making no wholehearted and honest effort to take the bull by the horns. To stress the point home he liked the forceful quote from anthropologist Jeremy Boissevain “One problem in particular struck me most forcefully. This is the massive destruction of the environment since you achieved independence. Your countryside and architectural heritage, your coastal zones, the sea surrounding you….have been and are still being raped” Lino’s credit lies in his poetic way of writing prose, for in spite of adversities, he manages to retain his features as positive and optimistic as his outlook on life. He was basically proud of his belief and principles, fully convinced that they were upright and legitimate.

How correct he was can be proven by the recent enactment of the Public Domain Bill that amends the Civic Code giving more protection to the natural environment and historical heritage. It can safely be revealed that the Ramblers’ Association with Lino still at its head, had made strong representations with the then Parliamentary Secretary for Land Management, Dr Jason Azzoppardi who started the ball rolling and had the bill drafted. The Ramblers’ Association was again called to a preliminary brief on the draft of the bill in the office of the legislator who created it, some few months before the last election. With the change of administration the draft was all but forgotten and at our first meeting with the new minister we suggested that the public funds spent on the exercise should not go wasted. He admitted he knew nothing about the draft, and happily it was sought out and approved by both sides of the House.

Of recent years Lino became too fragile to enjoy walks with the Ramblers. At first he would start off for a few meters and then take the car to meet the ramblers at some other point on the way. During the annual activity of the Gozo Weekend, when ramblers take lodging at a Gozo hotel during the low season for two nights, he came along to be with the group at breakfast and dinner time, then meet with the group at certain points on the way. He relished taking the pizza orders from members on the Saturday walk, which lasted a whole day, and then delivering the hot pizzas from Marsaxlokk to the hungry walkers at a predetermined spot. After this he delighted in the pictures that members sent him every time a new walks program was issued, and from memory he was able to illustrate charming portrayals of the forthcoming walks on the Sunday Times, which he still did until last December.

Admiration of his picturesque narratives have augmented the number of participants in the walks, and indeed the number of members of the Association. However his spirit remained on a high and he thrilled to the periodical get-together over a drink or a meal in his hometown Marsascala, in the company of old friends and former members.

The Ramblers are indeed saddened by the passing away of its founder, but take much comfort from the inspirational and civilizing legacy that Lino has left behind.

In the name of the Ramblers’ Association I express my deep condolences to his family and hope that they too feel some relief in the memory of Lino’s positive attitude to life.

Mr. Alex Vella
President, Ramblers Malta Association

 

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Lino Bugeja (1930-2017)

The Ramblers’ Association of Malta is deeply saddened to inform the public that its Honorary President Lino Bugeja has passed away.

Lino Bugeja adressing a crowd at Baħrija in 2009.

Lino Bugeja was born on the 10th of February 1930 at his beloved home town of Birgu, and would have celebrated his 87th birthday today month. He was one of the country’s most respected environmentalists, and was amongst the first to become concerned about the fact that access to the countryside was becoming gradually denied to the public. Lino had a notable career in education, but was also a renowned athlete, and one for whom the promotion of sport became a lifelong passion. In 2005, Lino Bugeja combined this love of sport with his desire to safeguard the countryside for public enjoyment, and founded the Ramblers’ Association of Malta.

Lino Bugeja’s historical and cultural erudition is widely acknowledged and his remarkable articles on Maltese newspapers were highly sought after by public. He was also the author of several significant books, such as ‘Vittoriosa, An Ancient City of Culture’, ‘AGON, Ġabra ta’ Studji dwar l-Isport matul iż-Żmien’ and most recently, ‘A Maltese Odyssey, The Historical, Artistic and Architectural Heritage of the Maltese Islands’. In 2013, he was honoured for his lifelong service to our country with the Midalja ghall-Qadi tar-Repubblika.

May he be granted eternal rest.

Alex Vella

President

Ingram Bondin

Hon. Secretary

On behalf of the committee of the Ramblers’ Association of Malta.

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Walks Programme – January-March 2017

Winter Walks Calendar – 2017

 

 January
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Sunday 8th January: Manoel Island to Valletta (Scenic)

Duration:           3 hrs. approx. + ferry

Rating:               Easy

Meeting Place:  Manoel Island, (by the duck sanctuary)

Time:                  09:00

N.B. Bring your I.D. as return will be by ferry.


Wednesday 11th:Marsascala – Marsaxlokk – Zejtun (Scenic/Historical) 

Duration:           about 2 to 3 hours.

Rating:               Easy to moderate with some inclines.

Meeting Place:  San Tomaso Restaurant car-park, in St. Thomas Bay, M’scala.

Time:                  14:00


Sunday 15th:  Gozo’ south shore – Mġarr to Xlendi (Scenic/Historical)

Duration:           4 hours approximately

Rating:               Moderate

Meeting Place: Mgarr Quay after arrival of 09:00 Gozo ferry boat from Cirkewwa.


Sunday 22nd:  Birzebbugia and its natural surrounds. (Scenic/Cultural)

Duration:           3.5 hours

Rating:               Moderate with some stretches of uneven terrain.

Meeting Place: Boat Park/Car Park across the road from Al fresco Restaurant.

Time:                  09:00


Wednesday 25th:  Attard – Lija – Mosta – Ta’ Qali (Scenic/ historical)

Duration:           about 2 to 3 hours.

Rating:               Easy to moderate with some inclines.

Meeting Place:  Parish Church of Attard

Time:                  14:00


Sunday 29th:  Siggiewi and its surrounding cousntryside. (Cultural)

Duration:            about 3 and a half hours

Rating:                Easy.

Meeting Place:  The Limestone Heritage on the Siggiewi by-pass.

Time:                  09:00

 

February

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Sunday 5th February:  Top of the World: Mosta – Wied il-Ghasel (Scenic)

Duration:           approximately 5 to 6 hrs.

Rating:               Hard

Meeting Place: Bird Park – Salina

Time:                 09:00


Wednesday 8th: Buskett-Dingli-Raba Nemel-Il-Lunzjata (Scenic/historical)

Duration:           about 2 to 3 hours.

Rating:               Easy to moderate with some inclines.

Meeting Place:  St. Dominic’s Priory, Rabat.

Time:                  14:00


Sunday 12th:  Mgarr – Ghajn Tuffieha – Mgarr (Scenic)

Duration:          approximately 3 hrs.

Rating:              Moderate to hard (some rough ground – garigue)

Meeting Place: Mgarr Parish Church

Time:                 09:00


Sunday 19th: Wardija Heights – Countryside around San Martin (Scenic)

Duration:               3 to 4 hours.

Rating:                   Moderate with some inclines.

Meeting Place:     The parking area near the Bird Park. Follow the sign for ‘Bird Park’ on coast road
near Kennedy Grove at Salini.)

Time:                      09:00


 Wednesday 22nd:  Xemxija – L-Imbordin – Manikata – (Scenic/historical)

Duration:            about 2 to 3 hours.

Rating:                Easy to moderate with some inclines.

Meeting Place:   Parish Church, Xemxija.

Time:                   14:00


Sunday 26th: Carnival Sunday:  A cultural walk in Senglea. (Cultural)

Duration:           approximately 3 hrs.

Rating:               Easy

Meeting Place: the Parking area at the Palumbo back entrance, close to Senglea Entrance.

Time:                  09:00

March

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Sunday 5th:  Buskett/ Ghar il-Kbir/ Fawwara (Scenic and Cultural)

Duration:        about 3 to 4 hours

Rating:            Moderate with steep inclines/rough ground. Slippery if wet.

Meeting Place: Buskett Gardens covered Car Park, Dingli.

Time:                09:00


Wednesday 8th:  Dingli – Mtahleb – Raba Nemel – Dingli (Scenic/historical)

Duration:             about 2 to 3 hours.

Rating:                 Easy to moderate with some inclines.

Meeting Place:   Parish Church, Dingli

Time:                  14:00


Sunday 12th:  Żejtun-Marsaxlokk-Żejtun. (Scenic and historical). [CANCELLED]

Duration:            Approximately 5 hours.

Rating:                Moderate to hard (mainly because of the length) with some inclines.

Meeting Place: Near Żejtun parish church of St Catherine.

Time:                  09:00


Sunday 19th:  Gozo: Mġarr to Ta’ Pinu – the scenic route (Scenic)

Duration:           4 hours approximately

Rating:               Moderate

Meeting Place: Mgarr Quay after arrival of 09:00 Gozo ferry boat from Cirkewwa.

N.B.:                   Please remember to bring your Bus Card with you.


 Wednesday 22nd:  Ghadira (Mellieha Bay Hotel) – Ramla Bay – Marfa Bay – Cirkewwa – Paradise Bay – countryroads near the Red Tower – Ghadira. (Scenic/ historical)

Duration:           about 2 to 3 hours.

Rating:               Easy to moderate with some inclines.

Meeting Place:   Mellieha Bay Hotel (at Ghadira)

Time:                  14:00


Sunday 26th:   Qajjenza to Fort Benghisa and a visit to Borg in-Nadur [Scenic, Historical]

Duration:         Approximately 3 to 4 hours

Rating:             Easy, with a moderate stretch of uphill to Borg in-Nadur

Meeting Place:  Old Gas Bottling Plant, Qajjenza.

Time:               09:00 hrs.

From the road to B’Bugia,  Il-Qajjenza can be reached by

  1. either turning left as soon as you reach the sea (by Al Fresco Restaurant) or
  2. or turning left after passing Villa Overhills Wedding Hall, and then turning downhill towards the sea. The old Gas Bottling Plant lies below Fort San Lucian

 

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Naxxar ODZ Elderly Home

On the 16th of October, the Ramblers’ Association, along with FAA and Front Harsien ODZ and the Naxxar and Ghargur Local Councils have supported a residents’ association against the construction of an Elderly People’s Home on ODZ land in Naxxar.

The association believes that it would make much more sense if senior citizens were accomodated within their own localities, so that they would not be separated from their supporting communities, environment and regular activities.

The Association is also of the opinion that the loop holes for building in ODZ should be closed rather than be multiplied. Policies allowing the construction of ODZ Elderly People’s Homes, ODZ Petrol Stations and ODZ villas on the pretext that there was previously a ruin on the site in question have only been introduced to allow developers to turn a quick profit out of land over which no development is normally allowed.

See Also:

http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/environment/environment/70641/environmentalists_protest_against_naxxar_odz_home_for_elderly

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20161016/local/protest-held-over-plans-for-old-peoples-home-on-odz-land.628169

http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2016-10-16/local-news/Naxxar-residents-protest-against-building-of-elderly-people-s-home-on-ODZ-land-6736165298

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