Now why does Summer of 69 sound so… you know, and Summer of 14 doesn’t? Well, never mind, this post is a recollection of a memorable trip to Comino (Kemmuna in Maltese), the small island set in the middle of the channel between Malta and Gozo, on a hot day in August 2014.

The trip was a hair-raising ride on a speedboat from Spinola Bay in St Julian’s. When we got to Comino, before disembarking, we were shown some interesting features, including a cave with shimmering turquoise water as well as a sunken patrol boat, now an attraction for divers, which was just visible from the surface.

The Blue Lagoon is where hundreds of day trippers spend their day on deckchairs underneath umbrellas, completely clogging up the place. It was really, really, crowded. Our dreadlocked guide Ian who drove the boat had mentioned that Santa Marija Bay was a 20 to 30 minute walk away, so my (then 8 year old) son Gianluca and I immediately decided to escape the mayhem and seek more tranquil surroundings.

Did I mention that it was hot? At one stage Gianluca pointed the correct way to the hotel, which was an intermediate stage to our destination. We met a group of Gozitans, who where heading to Santa Marija Bay, and we chatted and walked with them for a while.

Finally, the bay came into view.

It was also rather crowded, but much less than the Blue Lagoon. We found a shaded spot on the sand, under a tree, had a sip of bottled water, and jumped into the sea to cool down.

It was lovely.

Midday under a scorching August Mediterranean sun: Gianluca was quite fine with it
The walk back from Santa Maria Bay was even hotter, characterised, among others, by a stop at the Comino Hotel for a fish and chips, a Blue Label beer and a Coke, a towel on top of my head while I was walking, as I had forgotten to bring a cap, but most of all, that most characteristic sound that says “the peak of summer in the Mediterranean”: the continuous loud screech of cicadas. Gianluca actually spotted one sitting on a dried up plant and showed it to me. We went up close and the sound stopped.
Eventually, we jumped into the melee at the Blue Lagoon to rejoin our group, swam over to Kemmunett and back with Gianluca’s mama, and waited for the boat, driven by our guide Ian. The speedy trip back to Spinola Bay raised our hair even more than in the morning.
It was a tremendously enjoyable day.