I heard a rumour that there’s a lake, or lakes even, in Malta. But where in Malta could they be? I’ve not seen so much as a small stream on the island.
I’ve been meaning to check these mysterious lakes out for a while and finally on a free day this week Taco and I headed off. I wasn’t sure of the route so I set the satnav. Blimey – 23 minutes to get there. Funny how that seems quite a long way to drive these days.
The Chadwick Lakes are between Rabat and Mtarfa on the Western side of the island which is an area I don’t know very well. Driving through it looked lovely – very green and undeveloped. Promising. I drove to my final destination. Hmm, we are just by the side of a quiet road. Oh, but look – there is a sort of small canal running alongside the road. Could this be it? I refer to the map and yes we have definitely arrived at our destination.
The Chadwick Lakes (or Wied il-Qlejgha in Maltese) were built by a British engineer Osbert Chadwick. They are actually artificial freshwater lakes. The engineer built a series of dams in the late 1890s so that fresh rainwater could gather and now the lakes form a miniature ecosystem with all kinds of different flora and fauna.
We had the option to walk in either direction from our car (along a road) so I choose the quieter looking way and set off. There were a couple of other cars and the odd couple walking but otherwise deserted. The road ended quickly and it became more of a muddy path not accessible by car. Lucky I had walking shoes on. Taco, however, wasn’t so prepared. White fluffy dog in water and mud ….
The so-called ‘lake’ became more of what I can only describe as a puddle. In fact, after a while, it just turned into some boggy land. Because of the mud we took a higher path which had some lovely views across fields.
After a while, we were able to walk back down along the bank and there was a bit more water. Taco really started to enjoy herself. It’s been a while since she’s been in freshwater She’s only had the salty sea so she couldn’t get enough of it.
We then came across these manmade structures giving the effect of a gentle waterfall. Taco trotted out to walk across but then changed her mind when she reached the wet bit.
After a short while the water and the path seemed to come to an end so we turned back towards the car. This time we tried the other direction which meant walking along a road. However, it was a very quiet road and hardly any cars passed us. The ‘Lake’ was a more substantial piece of water here. Almost justifying the title. We came to another ‘waterfall’ effect area. A bit more impressive this side.
The lakes cover about 8 km so we certainly didn’t walk the whole length. We were running out of time (school pick up and 23 minutes drive home!) so we turned around and headed back to the car.
So as long as you lower your expectations of a lake this is definitely a lovely morning walk that I (and Taco) would recommend.