Friday, January 26, 2007

Summer in Gozo


One of the real 'fun' times to go on holiday in Gozo is during the feasts of San George and Santa Maria in Victoria.
We are not great 'Festa' people but last summer we spent those times in our new self-catering accommodation in Victoria, Gozo and we just had the time of our lives. The house being practically a few paces from all the activity made it very convenient to be able to come and go as you please. From the roof terrace we bbq-d whilst having a fantastic view of the fireworks being let off from Gelmus hill. Later on we joined in the fun of walking with the lively band and getting into the celebrationary atmosphere then watched the fireworks on the stands in the piazza at the bottom of the alley. The following day we were invited by neighbours to go up onto their balcony in their house down the alley to watch the band and procession pass by while we threw balloons and confetti (see picture). Then there are the horse races that take place in thet main road leading up to the main piazza. We really got into the spirit of it all and it was great fun! www.gozofarmhouserentals.com

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Off Season Offer


Remember our off season offer is still on. Pay for two nights and get the third night free in any of our two farmhouses. This offer is valid until the end of March.
Long weekends coming up are Carnival which extends from the 16th to the 20th of February.
16th to the 19th March is the long weekend with the Feast of St. Joseph on the 19th March (Monday).

Carnival



Carnival in Gozo
Carnival Week is undoubtedly one of the most colourful events in the Maltese calendar. Traditionally preceding Christian Lent, Carnival provides five days of revelry with many dressing up in colourful costumes and covering their faces with masks in the many towns and villages. Gozo is no exception and organises its edition of the festivity.
Carnival celebrations are tightly knitted in Maltese folklore. It has been celebrated in Malta since the arrival of the Knights of St. John in 1530, but some studies even date the first carnival revelry back to the year 1470. Up until 1751, carnival was an activity exclusive to Valletta. By tradition, the Maltese have had valid excuses to mark carnival for hundreds of years and the celebrations have come a long way since.
In Gozo, the main activities take place in It-Tokk, the main square in Gozo's capital Victoria. However, a particular event, which takes place in Nadur, defies the official definition of a standardised Carnival activity such as those held in Valletta and Victoria. Nadur is one of the villages of Gozo with a long tradition of spontaneous carnivals. This is because from time to time, it retained an essentially popular character.
In Nadur the purposes of costume is disguise, in other words, simply not to be recognised. Consequently grotesquely disguised crowds overrun the streets; the costumes consisting mainly of haphazard, coarse guises made of sack, sheets, wigs and incongruous make-up. The local participants are often silent for most of the time in order to make sure that they remain unidentified - so much so that is sometimes referred to as the Silent Carnival. The floats lose much of the grandeur, which the Valletta carnival accords them, and are often no more than carts released from their ubiquitous role on the farms and brought to the streets of Nadur.
Within this absurd set-up it is not uncommon to catch sight of placards with ambiguous, snide remarks daubed in paint directed at both private and public personalities, which in order to avoid being regarded as libellous are often veiled reference, very difficult to gauge for first-time visitors.


This article can be viewed on www.gozo.gov.mt

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Friday

Fridays seem to be good days lately windwise. Yesterday wasn't sure what locaton to choose. Wind seemed very west and looking out the bay couldnt see much in the way of big swell. Was going to stay in the bay in Mellieha and fool around on the flat water especially since the Gozo sailors had come down again (starting to become a regular thing for them which is great fun). Then wind changed more NW so didnt want to give up a day on the waves so went down to Ghallis. But the wind direction veers down there now due to our 'manmade mountain' - sometimes it improves the wind but yesterday it just made it too SW at times and very shifty. Went down with Neil Pryde 4.5m and my Synchro 83 - sailed out thru the Island and although waves were small they were nice and steep but wind all over the place. Was a bit pushed for time so decided if its was shifty I would rush back up again to Mellieha. Which I did and went down in the Bay with my Gozo companions. Had a blast with 5m really tightened - eventually when it was time for me to pack up wind got up at times when I would need a 4m but held on with the 5m making the gybes pretty hairy! Probably got really good at Ghallis at that time I imagine. Just enjoy being out on the water so much - next week doesnt look very promising.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Carnival in Gozo

Carnival this year is from the 16th to the 20th February. Gozo has become quite well known for its Nadur carnival in particular and has become one of the carnival cities of the world (though I wouldn't exactly call Nadur a 'city'!). It is alot of fun and a long weekend of enjoyable festivities before the fasting season of Lent.

We have good offers going on our farmhouse accommodation www.gozofarmhouserentals.com
Make it a weekend of fun, relaxation, cultural education....whatever it's there.

Photo courtesy of Nadur Local Council

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ghallis - Friday

Friday was a good day, just too overpowered! Pretty big day at Ghallis. Lovely waves on the ponta but my 4m was too big most of the time. When the guys are over with their 4.5's then I am definitely over on the 4! Bearing off on the outside was near impossible for me without being catapulted board and all so mostly had to do a 'plop' gybe just so I didn't have to be carried home on a stretcher. Shore break was quite big at times and getting back up had to be timed with the sets coming in and helpful lads on the moll to grab my gear for me before being ripped to shreds on the rocks. Love sailing in Ghallis but when it gets over a certain wind force and the shore break gets big I wish our shore line was one long line of sandy beach instead of razor sharp rocks!

As for Gamblu - well........he had so much height he had time to phone air traffic control to get permission to land! Anton........as usual he showed us all how to do those great lay down sail low bottom turns. Jacques......gave us a good demonstration on the best way how to come in slicing the gelcoat covering of your board in one easy slice on the rocks. Austin lost the top of his sail on the outside but managed to struggle in which was lucky as it could have been a pretty nasty dilemma - a question of what do I do? Abandon my rig or wait for the helicopter??

Good fun.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Windy week




Its been a pretty windy week here in Malta and the temperatures have finally gone down - around 16C. Though sea is still pretty warm at 19C. Got some fun sailing in beginning of the week. Yesterday started off windy but changed to a lousy direction creating a large swell and confused sea and thats about it! Today looks more hopeful and hope to get a bit of waves in down the coast at Ghallis. If its not good down there then it will be flat water conditions in the bay ideal for fooling around.
Pics are by Bunty of John on his Fanatic Formula board with 7.8m Tushingham sail a couple of weeks back and John earlier in the week down in the bay (Mellieha Bay) using the Mistral Joker and NP 5m search.
Hey why is it always me that has to be photographer??

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Gozo lads come down our end

Joe from Gozo having some fun
Yesterday we had a nice day with a westerly wind blowing. Used anything from 5m to 5.7m sails and boards with a bit more volume from 90l and over. It was a good blasting day and nice for trying out stuff and improving on the all imortant basics.
It was great to have the Gozo lads with us - we dont get to sail together often enough. Thought there would be more local people down but probably most had to get back to work after the Christmas and New Year festivities.

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