Saturday, 11 March 2017
Kafka and Gozo, by Stevie Haston.
Looking for routes is fun, finding old routes that the old climbers of Gozo used years ago in ancient times is even better. Above you see me on an old route with even seats cut in the rock by ancient fishermen. Having written the guide book to the islands with the help of Simon Alden and Jeffrey Camilleri, I was often in minor arguments about who did first ascents. I would often say, well it was probably done by a Maltese fishermen a thousand years ago, and who cares who did it.
The Kafkaesque conversations you can get into sometimes makes my head spin. I like to obey the law, and do so, but I do call the law an ass from time to time. The other day security wouldn't allow me to get off a safe car park on to safe flat ground! I asked on what authority etc, who they were, they refused all to answer, and kept bullying. Today people were not allowed to dive the Azure Window, and Blue Hole. It is now illegal! Why?
On enquiry after you ask police, ministry, department of paper shuffling and even various friends within the government you get conflicting answers. The security people, the uniformed protectors of the Rock Arch that is no longer there, boldly stop you.
I would imagine these restrictions will become sensible at some stage, but it is all very confusing. It's like things one day are legal, but then its Ok, or in America, state to state things, and laws are different.
Climbing on my island was understood by Gozo fishermen, but those men are older than me, there climbing was superseded by car transport. But the peace and quiet of sitting on a ledge is not the same as sitting in polluted traffic. And looking at internet videos is no substitute for diving in the real sea.
Rocks and stones are one of my favourite things, I love touching them. I love the sea, to not be in the sea is some how wrong for me. My heritage is the sea, and the cliffs of Gozo. Please Mr Lawman, Mr Bureaucrat don't make silly laws about access.