ISLAND OF LEGENDS, by Ripley Davenport
Limestone encrusted landscapes require a well-built yet breathable boot. The LOWA Elite desert boots were flawless. With a hot sunny climate averaging 12 hours of sunshine in summer and 5-6 hours in mid-winter, The LOWA Elites provided exceptional support and comfort. I absolutely endorse and recommend the LOWA Desert Elites to any one in quest of a boot that can endure unforgiving environments.
Suspended on a shallow shelf created from the high points of a land bridge linking Sicily and North Africa the Maltese Islands became cut off as sea levels rose after the last Ice Age. During its 5,000-year history, the island boasts dramatic Neolithic temples, staved off Ottoman invasions into Europe, and served as a tactical Allied port as Nazis blitzed the continent.
Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea some 93km south of Sicily: its faint twinkling lights visible on the horizon on a clear night and 288km north of Africa, the island of Gozo has long been associated with Ogygia, the island dwelling of the nymph Calypso in Homer's Odyssey, a remarkable piece of literature that occupied my tatty brown school briefcase and classroom desk for many years as a young school kid. Since then, I have always wanted to visit the Maltese Island’s and explore its ancient secrets for myself.
I wanted to explore a series of prehistoric megalithic monuments, on Malta, Gozo and Comino, built during three distinct time periods approximately between 3600 BC and 700 BC, the world's oldest free-standing structures and are also among the world's oldest religious structures. In addition I walked around the entire stretch of coastline exploring dramatic limestone encrusted landscapes, saltpans, dramatic geological caves and parched gorges scored by extinct streams. For some of the journey I employed a donkey not only to serve as company but also to carry some provisions.
Gozo, the second-largest island in the archipelago after Malta and around the same size as New York City’s Manhattan, is known for its scenic hills. It reveals an island of legends and great beauty; the inspiration for many blockbuster films like Gladiator and Troy, World War Z and Alexander. In fact the list of movies shot on location on the Maltese Islands is quite interesting.
Inland from the coastline, the dusty roads; the terracotta walls of sluggish village houses many faded by the intense sunlight. Massive elaborate churches cast their shadows across serene squares filled with cafés. Towering jagged cliffs and breath taking lunar landscapes make for a diversion, but the true attraction is the sweet aroma of wild Thyme lining winding trails meandering through the towns and coastline – but there are richer rewards for those that lace up their boots and saunter without concern with open eyes. This is raw adventure; where you can break free from the hustle and, guided by dusty trails make your way around an island hosting unique flora and fauna. I couldn’t help but feel like a real old time explorer, donkey in tow, in search of forgotten tombs, ruins and maybe lost treasures.
The Lowa Desert Elites are flawless and still functioning without any sign of wear.