Be Kind and Respectful: Always | With Everyone | Everywhere

Published Categorised as COVID-19, President's Pen

As the first wave of the pandemic that swept swiftly across the globe starts to subside at home, directives start to lift.

That does not mean that we do not need to remain cautious. Every hiker, runner, climber and cyclist knows that a descent can be more treacherous than an incline. Therefore, also as we ‘exit’ the 1st Covid-19 phase we have to do so with care.

In this piece, we will continue to update you on travel, trekking and XirCammini developments as we re-emerge from Covid-19.

Victoria Lines

Local Trekking

We have resumed the Wed Walks (our weekly evening walk appointment) and the turnout was encouraging.

People who join us are being asked to follow 6 simple rules relating to health, hygiene and social distancing in line with Health Authority Directives ( “Local Trekking | Health Directives”)

On Wed 10th June, we walked a South loop (from Xarolla through Ħal Millieri to Providenza, linking back to Zurrieq through Maqluba and tal-Ħniena Sanctuary). The camaraderie and the general atmosphere were incredibly positive.

On Wed 10th June, we walked a South loop (from Xarolla through Ħal Millieri to Providenza, linking back to Zurrieq through Maqluba and tal-Ħniena Sanctuary). The camaraderie and the general atmosphere were incredibly positive.

On Fri 12th June, we walked a West loop (from Bidnija through Zebbiegh to the Bingemma church, linking back to Bidnija through Dwejra and the valley). Again, there was such a positive spirit.

This Wednesday, 17th June we will walk the “Matrici tal-Majjitral” an Mdina – Girgenti loop through the ancient western parishes (Mdina, Zebbug and Siggiewi) listed in the Rollo de Mello 1436.

Beyond Siggiewi (were the parishes of the South: Zurrieq, Bir Miftuh, now Gudja and Casale Sta. Katerina, now Zejtun). The remaining Rollo De Mello parishes were the Mellieha sanctuary to the Northwest, Qormi, Naxxar, Birkirkara, San Lorenzo del Mare (Birgu) and Hal Tartani. Hal Tartani and Mellieha subsequently lost their parish status to be then reinstated some centuries later. Our walk will only pass through the 3 western matriarchal parishes. All of these old parishes (and some others that followed) are referred to as ‘Matrici’ because from them other parishes emerged.

Wed Walk 10th June

Overseas Trekking | Flight Status

All our overseas trekking experiences until the end of September have been cancelled. All deposits collected towards accommodation etc for all overseas treks until the end of 2020 were promptly refunded. We thank overseas trekking associations, NGOs and micro-0rganisations that we collaborate with overseas for their assistance.

Malta has announced a ‘safe corridor’ with various countries and travel will shortly resume. However this does not mean that we can start planning overseas trips. Why? Because some of these countries still have quarantine regulations and or other prohibitive measures in place which do not make it feasible for us to plan trips for the foreseeable future.

It is likely that by mid-August such restrictions to these countries (and more) would have been lifted. However, it is better to plan trips when one has more certainty on flights, destinations, quarantine procedures, accommodation and local transport arrangements etc. A time will come when we can again travel and trek together overseas. Until then we’ll continue with the local activities and continue monitoring the overseas situation in the various countries where we trek.

At the time of writing this piece it is still being recommended by authorities in Spain not to rush and wait until all sectors of the Camino are again open before considering a Camino in Spain. The same applies to other countries. We are constantly monitoring this and will keep members informed.

Cancelled overseas treks, 2020

Famous last Words:

Be Kind and Respectful: Always | With Everyone | Everywhere

Situations (not least Covid-19) can bring out the best or the worst in people.

It is not a secret that – petty as it may sound – unhealthy, albeit petty, rivalry unfortunately also exists among local trekking groups. But, I am concluding this piece with this point because it was raised with me during one of our recent walks.

At XirCammini we welcome anyone who shares our passion for hiking. No questions asked.  Our non-exclusive nature is enshrined on our statute. whether one

  1. walks with us and also walks with other groups,
  2. walks with us and does not walk with other groups or
  3. does not walk with us but walks with other groups

makes no difference.

Everyone is welcomed and / or respected as long as one is always respectful towards others.

We walk together because of the physical, psychological, social and intellectual benefits of this collective pastime. We walk together because so many barriers dissolve and impasses dissipate when we share the road together. A word, a joke, a gesture and even shared silence serve to uplift us.

Let us be kind and respectful always, with everyone everywhere as we share the road and our experiences with fellow-hikers without expecting anything in return. Be grateful, always and everywhere, in the blessing of a shared journey.

Life’s a Journey | Keep Walking | Keep Smiling | Keep Safe.