Monday, 13 June 2016

Not right in the head

I'm really not one for taking it easy but, since my almighty crack on the head, I'm having to slow down somewhat.  My broken arm is well on the mend, though far from sorted, but the bang on the bonce is proving rather more irksome.  At the moment I have pretty much zero desire for, or tolerance of, alcohol (unheard of!), I've gained a sweet tooth I never had before plus I've also developed a couple of strange allergies (including liquorice which I love) and I still get tired a lot more easily than I should.  All par for the course apparently and just requires a little patience before I'm back to full strength.  Ha - yeah, I'm SO good at patience!

Anyway, we decided to head to Gozo (next to Malta) for a spot of sunshine for a week to try and get me back on my feet again.  This was an excellent plan apart from two minor flaws - firstly I don't really like hot weather and secondly I am absolutely terrified of flying.  (Yeah, yeah I know it's the safest form of travel, but logic doesn't enter into it when you're terrified.  Let's say you have a fear of big fat hairy spiders but you have to hold a tarantula in your hand for 3 hours 15 mins - there's very little chance it will bite you and, even if it does, you're most likely to survive.  Does that wee spot of logic make you less scared?  Thought not.  That's how it is with me and flying - 3 hours and 15 mins of pure, unadulterated, terror.)

Because our flight was so early in the morning (a cunning ruse to spring it on me before I was awake enough to realise what was happening - like that was ever going to work), we headed to the airport the day before and booked into a nice hotel as a treat.  I'll be honest, I normally have a very sunny disposition, but this part of the holiday was one disappointment after another.

I'll skip over the 2 hour train delay, lack of any decent places to eat near the airport and confusing/ non-existent signage and reserve my wrath for Thomas Cook who, without a shadow of a doubt went out of their way to be the most difficult, money grabbing and disinterested in the customer company it has been my displeasure to encounter.

For a non seasoned air traveller it was a wake up call to read the small print and not expect any logic, common sense or decency.  We opted for the sundown bag drop to save time knowing that there was a £5 charge, but it turns out it's a charge per person not per bag, so despite the fact we'd checked in online and were only dropping off one bag we were charged £10 because the bag "belonged" to 2 people. I could rant for hours about the number of other ways they disappointed us but, at least they got us there in one piece.

Somewhere over Monaco - we were surprised to find there was no additional
charge for looking out the window...
Anyway, enough of my ranting and rambling - here's a quick guided tour of Gozo in case you ever fancy visiting.

Embracing the local food - basically beer, crisps and Parma ham

Ramla Bay - deep red sands and the occasional jellyfish

The harbour & hotel in Gozo - with strategically placed motorboat

Temples at Ggantija - the oldest freestanding manmade stricture in the world

Centuries old graffiti from the Old Prison in the Citadel
The Citadel in Rabat

The Blue Lagoon Comino  - beautiful but OH so very crowded
Escaping the crowds on Comino with a short walk around the island

Coastal walk at Xatt I-Ahmar
Ancient salt pans
Swim in the sea at Mgarr ix-Xini - location for the Brangelina film By the Sea

Festa in the local town for St Anthony, the
patron saint of lost & stolen articles - perhaps
he knows where Thomas Cook put their
customer service policy?
Qolla I-Bajda near Marsalforn

Tower at Dwerja - loads of towers on the island and TONS of
fascinating history - well worth a visit
Dwerja Bay, Fungus Rock & the Azure Window (far right 
Nope - no idea
Church at Xewkija - so many beautiful churches
2 hour "not too serious according to them" flight delay - perfect for the terrified
passenger to dream up 1001 doomsday scenarios!

And that's it.  It may be a while before I can write up any big hikes, which is a bit of a blow for an outdoors/ hiking blog, but fear not, I shall dream up a variety of other ways to keep myself entertained.  Life's too short to sit still for any longer than I absolutely have to so here's to leaping into things even when it's technically against doctors orders...

Xlendi Bay - our favourite spot

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