We choose the house we are renting mainly because of the view. It is located right on the side of a valley called Wied Ghomor which reaches from San Gwann (our side) over to Sweiqi and Ibraq.
Changing with the seasons
Looking at the valley everyday you forget how much it changed depending on the season. But when we moved in in September the valley was brown and barren and looked like this:
but now (March) it is green and filled with wild flowers and looks like this. Quite a difference.
This time of year (March) the valley is perfect for dog walking. It’s really green and lush (although a bit overgrown in some places).There is an official dog park but if you are serious about actually walking your dog don’t bother. It’s the size of a shoe box and usually covered in dog poo. Better to just walk through the dirt road to Sweiqi or cut into the valley floor and follow one of the trails along the base and up the side.
I’m never quite sure where you can and cannot walk in the valley. A lot of it is just fields with wild flowers and grass. Some parts are farmed so obviously we don’t walk there. Some bits are more official paths so I follow those as much as possible. You rarely see anyone in the valley – just a few farmers and the odd dog walker so if you stray onto a patch you shouldn’t be then it’s unlikely anyone will know.
The Wied Ghomor valley has been under threat from developers, as are a lot of green areas in Malta. It is suppose to be protected but still property developers are infringing on the valley and you can see work has started on new buildings at the edges. There has been a local protesting group on facebook (Saving WIED Ghomor) and some victories have been won such as stopping the building of a 133-care home. However it is an ongoing battle.
The one thing I don’t like about the valley however is the hunting. When we first moved here I couldn’t believe that on a Sunday morning we were all woken up by the sound of gun shots. And it went on for a while. I’ve since found out there are two hunting seasons – Autumn and Spring. There are a huge number of birds and different species of birds in Malta because it is a strategic stop on the migratory path for birds moving between Europe and Africa. Hunting is legal but only for some species of bird (about 40 types) and there are set times of day hunters can shoot (2 hours after sunrise and 2 hours before sunrise – usually just on Sundays). However illegal hunting of protected birds is a huge problem here with Malta having one of the highest densities of hunters in the EU. If you want to read more about hunting in Malta there’s lot on Bird Life Malta.
Anyway, all I know is – I avoid walking in the valley when the hunters out. And I hate hunting.
But apart from the hunting we are making the most of our time in the house and enjoying the valley. Here’s Taco on Myles’ bed dreaming of a walk…