A clothes line amidst the fennel stalks.

DSCN4822 2 pixlr signed

A clothes line amidst the fennel stalks.

A hot August morning on Comino. The rising sun’s heat is tempered by the occasional straggling cloud providing a few overcast seconds of relief and a stiff breeze of Majjistral, Malta’s prevailing north west wind which is nature’s alternative to refreshing air conditioning.

We are on our annual pilgrimage to this desolate little island. Arid, but full of life. Ruggedly beautiful with ever changing scenery. A two and a half square kilometre island. One tiny corner of which, its Blue Lagoon, is over-run by up to five thousand visitors daily. Leaving the rest to people like us. A fair deal, I think. Amazing how even on such a small landmass, you can just climb the small hill overlooking Cominotto Island and all evidence of the crowds dissipates into thin air. No sight, no sound. Nothing.

We have climbed from the inlet of San Niklaw and walked across Comino’s main thoroughfare, Triq Kemmunett. At the location of the old Bakery building we take a sharp right and climb steeply up Triq il-Gvernatur, the road leading to the imposing Santa Maria Tower, part of a network of coastal watchtowers built by the Knights of St. John.

Our final destination today is the small mooring place at Wied Ernu, a tiny cleft in the island’s southern coast which used to serve as the landing for boats from Malta during the time of the twentieth century agricultural colony on Comino.

The colony is long gone, but its remains, mostly in ruins and disrepair are spread all over the island.

On the way back, a small sign of human activity. One of the handful of people which stayed behind when the colony disbanded in the late 1960s. True Comino-born and bred. Hanging clothes to dry on a line. Surrounded by stalks of wild fennel.

A beautiful sight. A sign of humanity’s resilience and adaptability. And oneness with nature.

The fresh breeze, the aromatic smell of ripening fennel seeds and the slight waft of damp, clean laundry hanging out to dry in the wind. Elements which make me return to Comino year after year.


8 thoughts on “A clothes line amidst the fennel stalks.

  1. Kemmuna was just a word when I was growing up but seeing that picture makes me wish I could go visit. By “colony”, do I understand that to mean some hippies made it their home away from the rat-race? Thank you for a slice of homesickness!!

    • Hi Alice. Kemmuna is rough but it has a beauty not unlike that of your Outback in Australia, although much smaller and much more of a landscape touched and changed by man. The colony I refer to was an agricultural colony established some time in the 1930s by a Maltese businessman who leased the island from the Government. At its peak it had over a hundred people and even had its own primary school and bakery where bread was baked once a week. It seems to have wound down some time in the 1960s. There are however three residents who were originally from this venture who still live permanently on Comino today, surviving by a mix of agriculture and providing services to the seasonal hotel and watersports/catering operators during the summer months.

  2. Kemm inhobb nimxi fuq Kemmuna!
    Thank you this; brought it to life as living in England it is not often or easy to do! So a virtual walk in my mind was next best thing. And with your narrative very easy.

    • Hi Rosa May! Glad to meet another person who appreciates the beauty of this special place. And thanks for your flattering comments about the narrative. Keep in touch and take care!

    • Thank you Leslie for that bit of Comino history, wish we had been a little more adventurous especially as I’m a history buff. Thank you indeed for your posts, I do look forward to them.

  3. I really enjoyed your “walk” on Comino.It is a magical place to visit, particularly early in the season when the bright yellow umbels of the Giant Fennel are in full bloom and covered with honey bees and Hover Flies.

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