Wednesday 26th September

Organising cars and swimming at Sliema Point


The JMC rep wants the fresh batch of holiday makers to attend a presentation of what's been organised for them. We Nutters have no intention of participating in package holidays. We may be mad, but we're not sad. We do have some self-respect. 


We decide to hire some cars. The rep is happy that our party will be independent. He recommends the local Avis car rental garage.

There are two cars available - a 5 door with air con, and a smaller 3 door without air con. 

Bernie and I are driven to the Avis forecourt by a boy racer. Our second taste of Maltese driving.


I relish the idea of driving in this country with its mad, dangerous road users. It's like driving in London, only more so: everybody is alert, and anything goes. There remains the strong British influence. Drive on the left, familiar road signs, zebra crossings and other road markings. 

The roads are well worn, and have a slippery sheen. Any moderate acceleration or braking is met with a delightful squeal from the tyres. Revving the engine, dropping the clutch, whilst turning a tight corner gives an exhilarating screech.

Bernie, Dave and the Jennies adopt the air con car: Nick, Gavin, Maky, and Rick take the other. 

Jack and Andy alternate between the two. Their choice:

  • a carefully driven air conditioned vehicle
  • a robustly driven, open air death bucket

Rick's two way radios prove to be useful. We can keep in touch should we get split up from each other. This happens with my driving!

Sliema Point

We drive a long the coast. After ten  minutes we park up close to a rock beach near a dilapidated pier. The beach has man made pools carved from the bed rock - with clear sea water breaking over. Railing and ladders are mostly eroded or absent. Safety is a bit optional in Malta.

The Jennies buy snorkels and flippers.

Everyone enjoys a swim. The stronger ones swim across to the remains of the pier.

We return to our hotel for a siesta - some of us didn't have much sleep last night! 

Evening meal

Gavin recommends a restaurant in St Julian's. This is a pizza place "Papparazzi" that overlooks Spinola bay.

I suggest starters - expecting garlic bread nibbles. Where I lead, others follow. We get served wonderful cheese soaked bread that would have done for the main course. Excessive! The main course pizza were equally generous.

We never ordered starters for the rest of the holiday. Food in Malta is generous. (Makes up for the bloody long wait.)

Winston Apartments Bar

Hop Leaf. My recommendation.

Cisk Lager

A soft drink, with an acquired taste.

We retire to our hotel bar. 

The beer is very good. The local beer is Cisk, a lager, or, my preference, Hop Leaf, a bitter. Cisk is pronounced Chisk. A soft drink Kinnie is pretty disgusting. I buy a can for the experience.

The apartments are not so bad, especially after several pints! I reckon I can happily stay there with a nightly pre-charge of beer.

We retire to our beds. Bernie's notebook computer alarm wakes us. Maky silences the contraption by ripping out its batteries.

We sleep.

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