Home Hiking Exploring Clapham Junction and the Caves

Exploring Clapham Junction and the Caves

10 September, 2017 0 comment

Misraħ Għar il-Kbir is a fascinating place, located in Siġġiewi, Malta. It’s peppered with prehistoric caves and mysterious cart tracks and, being close to Dingli Cliffs and Buskett Gardens, makes it the perfect spot to spend a day sightseeing in Malta. One scorching hot day in August thats what my boyfriend and I decided to do. We jumped on a bus to Rabat and embarked on a 14km walk in the 40 degree heat (do not recommend!). We started by walking partly through Buskett Gardens in Rabat, to Siġġiewi to check out the caves and the cart tracks then on to Dingli where we walked the cliffs, walked down the cliffs and followed a beautiful route along farmland, past churches and stunning homes.

Clapham Junction Cart Tracks

Between us we took so many pictures this day that I’m going to split it into a few posts and today will focus on the prehistoric caves at Misraħ Għar il-Kbir and the, to this day, unexplained cart tracks of Clapham Junction.

If you didn’t know where you were, you’d probably have no idea that this site holds such rich history and so many unanswered questions. You’ll see a rundown farmhouse, an abandoned Land Rover, a lot of arid, flat rock and a quarry.

But look closer and you’ll see, carved into the ground, a whole host of deep cart ruts. These cart ruts have been around as long as anyone can remember, so long, in fact, that no one is quite sure when or why they originated. There are many theories, from temple builders (yet none of them lead to the temple sites) to UFOs and the ‘how’ is just as puzzling. The rock is hard and the grooves are deep, many of them lead straight into the sea, or down vertical cliff faces.

Whenever they were created and for whatever reason, the enigma around them is half of what makes them so alluring and something you should absolutely head out to see.

Beware of the Dogs

Be careful though, at one point whilst following the tracks hither and thither we ended up on what must have been a private driveway (although there was no gate, no sign and no indication we were not still on public property) and a bunch of guard dogs went absolutely wild. Two were tied to a tree and just scared us with their barking but a third was loose (deliberately or not, I couldn’t tell) and chased us away, barking and growling. I am a big dog lover but in that moment I was so scared! I remembered some advice from my grandmother though, who always told me to never run from a charging dog as it only excites them. As we saw him running towards us and realised he was loose, we calmly walked further away and as he got to us we came to a stop. He skidded to a halt just inches away from my legs, barked a bit more then ran off.

Prehistoric Caves

As well as the complicated cart tracks there is a complex of caves located at Misraħ Għar il-Kbir. These were habited by Malta’s Troglodytes (cave dwellers) and are still in great shape today. Roofs have caved in, walls have fallen but if you carefully climb down into the network, there is enough structure left that you can make out the rooms and just imagine these people living and thriving here.

When you spend time looking around a site like this, you really begin to appreciate the rich history of this tiny little island. It may be small but there is so much to see and so much to learn for those who want to get out there and explore. And you don’t have to get excited by history or culture to enjoy this area, as, caves and cart tracks aside, it’s a lovely area to walk around and appreciate the natural beauty. Most of the land is flat and rocky, but interspersed with hardy greenery that survives even the hottest and harshest of summers. Flecks of green, mixed with drier plants, adding yellow, brown and orange tones, making a colourful and photogenic canvas.

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