Gozo is Heaven on Earth
I’ve been saving this post. I wanted to wait until the memory of holiday had faded slightly so that when I looked back at my photos I could remember that Gozo is heaven on earth.
It is was also a trip of firsts for me. We took the plunge and decided to try Scuba Diving (plunge – get it!)
First our fantastic instructor talked us through what we would be doing, the principles of diving, some dos and don’ts and introduced to the equipment we’d be using before kitting us all out in our super sexy gear.
I had not appreciated how bloomin’ heaving oxygen tanks are. Plus you we had extra weights added to our belts to help us stay at the bottom of the water. Just doing the short walk over the road from the kit store to the bay was a workout.
Getting into the water in Scuba gear is one of the weirdest sensations I’ve ever felt. As a small amount of water seeps under the material, my skins got goosebumps as it spread over my body (for those of you who are unfamiliar with wearing wet suits, they work by allowing a small amount of water in, then your body temperature heats the water and this in turn keeps your body warm.)
Then if that wasn’t weird enough you have massive fins on your feet and a heavy tank on your back making it pretty impossible to keep yourself balanced.
Once we’d managed to adjust we went through various exercises of getting us used to breathing underwater and ensuring our masks weren’t letting in water. Slowly we learned how to lower ourselves under the water and rest on the bottom.
I was surprised that I managed to grasp this fairly easily apart from small issues with a leaky mask. Lydie took a little longer to get used to it but I was very impressed with our instructors patience and commitment to help her complete the dive.
Before we knew it we were bobbing along on the bottom of the beautiful briiiiiney sea. The underwater camera came in handy again!
And this ladies and gentlemen is my favourite selfie photo of all time. #scubaselfie
I thought I’d enjoy diving, I didn’t think I would LOVE it. Which I absolutely did. In fact, completely my PADI open water qualification is very much on my to do list!
Approaching the end of our trip and very much still determined to make the most of our time of this little Island. Lydie and Ben headed out for come couple time and me and J did what anyone would do in this situation. We hired a speed boat. Yep, our own little speed boat that we got for a couple of hours to take out into the open water and it was AWESOME.
I had some photo trouble over the holiday and am absolutely gutted to say a lot of the boat photos I took disappeared (sad face). However this gem of James looking very pleased with himself at the helm survived.
We took it in turns to drive whilst the other was usually found kneeling right at the front and taking on the waves face first. Its been a fair while since I had such a genuine adrenaline rush.
Once we’d got the 5 year old reaction of LETS GO AS FAST AS WE CAN out of our system we stopped the engine in a cove and got the snorkels out for swim about. I did take some photos (RIP) but this came to an abrupt end when I spied a jelly fish lurking in the distance. We calmly and quickly got back on board, not keen to repeat a well known friends episode.
Sadly, we eventually had to return our little boat home to Xlendi Bay. We sat soaking in the sun until our Ben arrived to pick us up. I love these moments on holiday where you just find a quaint spot to just sit and admire the beauty of the place you’re in. If you ever find yourself on Gozo (which you definitely should) make sure Xlendi Bay is on your non-negotiable to visit list. With water sports of all varieties, fab restaurants and stunning views, you’ll kick yourself if you miss it.
We sat contentedly until the sun went down and we headed home.
Our next (and last day) we were to do the one activity I’d been nagging about since we arrived. If you Google “best things to do in Gozo” visiting the Blue Lagoon tops every list.
Determined to see what all the fuss was about, we piled into the car and made our way down to the bay from which you could catch a boat to take you out to this natural area of beauty.
Our boat driver was something of a daredevil and whilst me and the boys reveled in his speed and tricks, Lydie spent the entire time screaming and clinging to the side of the boat.
Before dropping us off he gave us a tour of some of the surrounding caves and we began to see the fascination with this place. The water is crystal clear. I’d never seen anything like it. I mean the water everywhere else we’d been on holiday had appeared amazingly clear. I’m talking about another level. You could see straight to the bottom of the sea bed and the light bouncing off the inside of the caves creates crazy magical affects that make you think your eyes are playing tricks on you.
After we’d ooood and awwwwwd to our driver’s satisfaction he eventually dropped us off on the tiny island of Comino where approximately 10 people live. The only thing here are pop up catering vans to feed the tourists and the usual deck chair and umbrella entrepreneurs.
We immediately found ourselves some shady rocks to set up camp and got straight in the water. I have never been so happy to own an underwater camera. I’m not sure if my photos up until this point have done this place justice so try this completely unfiltered one…
It was clearer than being in a swimming pool. I was lost for words. We just kept swimming around, coming up for breathe and going “it’s incredible” and repeating.
There was also an expansive coral area that I went exploring. The sea life was completely unphased by me floating among them. Simply swimming around my limbs as I moved.
Being surrounded by hundreds of fish is a very bizarre experience. It felt like I’d fallen into a giant fish tank.
I was so glad in the end that we’d saved the Blue Lagoon for our last day, I think if we’d have come here earlier everything else just wouldn’t have compared, instead it was the finale extravaganza of our trip.
Despite being an amazing day, J still managed to ruin a photo or two.
Knowing our time left on holiday was disaperating at an alarming rate I adopted my “Tuesday pose”, first invented on my trip to Tunisia a couple of years prior. The essence of this pose is to lay back in the water, close your eyes, let your arms and legs go loose by your sides and simply float. I don’t know how long I was there for and neither do I care. I was the most relaxed I’d felt in months. I am a true believer that nature is the best form of therapy. You don’t need to go to the Blue Lagoon to find this simple kind of serenity, go for a walk in the woods or go and jump in some puddles. Remind yourself there is a real, amazing natural world that is far more beautiful than Instagram can ever capture.
I know you have to get back to reality, as I did the next day, but at least I did so with a renewed calmness and the memory of floating in Gozo a.k.a Heaven on earth close at hand.