With Malta’s urban sprawl becoming sprawl-ier by the second, taking the time to reconnect with nature can be extremely beneficial to a person’s mental health (and probably their lungs too). Even if we had more than three camp sites spread across the island, which we do not, there are some things that will happen regardless of where you struggle to pitch your tent.
1. The inside-out house
When you arrive at the designated camp site, your first disappointment is always going to be the 20-person family who has set up right next the spot you planned on using to commune with Gaia. They will of course be prepared for any eventuality that might occur, and come ready with their own generator, fridge, sound system, and televisions.
2. The alarm
The wine is gone, and the fire is out; it’s finally time to snuggle into your sleeping bag and prepare for the restful sleep that follows. That is, if by rest you mean waking up at 5am to the calming sounds of the birds chirping, and a civil war breaking out right outside your tent. Nothing says “Il-Kampanja Maltija” quite like the sounds of a shotgun massacring our feathered friends within earshot. Where can I buy that Enya CD?
3. The alien encounter
Once you push past the petrol fumes and the screams of “JOE! GĦAMILTU L-KORSLOR?” (an actual thing coleslaw has been called), the relaxation segment of your trip can finally begin. Kick back in your comfortable folding-chair and watch in horror as your neighbour’s yappy chihuahua tiptoes at the speed of light towards your tent, and then proceeds to pee all over it. All this while it gleefully ignores the shrill cries of: “SHEILA!! EJJA ‘L HAWN!” (“Sheila, get back here!”)
4. The stroll
All this has unfolded and it’s still only 6am. There’s no way you’re getting back to sleep now, so you shove on your boots and take a quick walk. Suddenly it becomes clear why you came in the first place. Everything is calm and still, the air itself smells clean; also your 3G won’t connect and you can’t even check your Facebook notifications. The views are breathtaking. You got what you came for, time to head back to your tent.
5. The wave of empathy
Following your brief morning jaunt (or as you’ll refer to it: “the most exercise you’ve done in months”) you feel that you’ve earned another power nap before starting the new day. You drift off into sleep easily enough, but you wake up once more two hours later. Drenched in sweat, you seriously worry you might be drowning in it. Were it not for the suffocating heat, you’d swear your tent had flown off into the sea. Mummified in your sleeping bag, every chicken you’ve ever roasted flashes before your eyes, and if you weren’t about to burst into flame, you’d almost feel bad for them.
In all seriousness, if you’re going during the summer months we’d recommend the “Għajn Tuffieħa Campsite”, because of its easy access to the beach, and showers (which are a godsend in the hot months). Any other time we suggest you hit up the age old cliche’ that is l-Aħrax and enjoy the starry nights and killer morning views. You can book both of these campsites online in a matter of seconds here and here respectively.