Now that the dust has settled after another fabulous week away With Herts Dive Club its time to share some of the highlights of the trip with a more detailed trip report…
…So here goes!
We’re on our way – destination Gozo, Mata
The journey started reasonably well with everyone hooking up at Gatwick’s North terminal and a reasonably stress free (by EasyJet’s standards anyway) checkin we all made our way through security and headed straight for the bar for some well earned Holiday starting drinks.
After a short an uneventful flight (with the exception of the rather hilarious head stewardess, specifically her perfectly crafted Essex biased ‘posh’ undertones) we arrived at Malta airport at around 10.45pm local time. Straight through passport control and onto the baggage reclaim to fin bags already on the belt and ready for collection…..This was going so smoothly, perhaps too smoothly?
In short – yes as our experience with the car hire representative soon showed us.
Everything started off well enough – he met us at arrivals with the relevant paperwork and of course car keys, and then he hit us with the ‘additional charges’ for full insurance, delivery charges, payment for the 1/4 tank of petrol they had delivered them with etc etc. As a group we decided that the €500 excess was not something we particularly wanted and so agreed to pay the additional charge to have no excess at all (it turns out that the combined value of our vehicles would have struggled to amount to €500!).
Nothing could of prepared us though for the condition of the vehicles which was apparent even in the dead of night – still we had a ferry to catch so we set off an eventually arrived at our resort, Xlendi Bay in Gozo.
It was finally time to get in the water for an easy shake down dive in Xlendi Bay and make sure all the kit survey the journey. The dive was the perfect start with 21 degrees and crystal clear vis set us up for a great week of diving.
Each dive site seemed to improve on the last with breathtaking geology, an abundance of marine life (which certainly restored my faith in diving the Mediterranean) and some great wrecks.
Of course getting to the dive sites was all part of the adventure with access to some of them which could only be accessed by utilising the hardiest of off road vehicles – which brings us neatly to our vehicles for the week, affectionately known as the ‘Vehicles of Doom’
The HDC 4 x 4 Adventure
As mentioned in a previous post, The 2 jeeps we have hired could only have been available because no-one else wanted them. Never in our lives have we seen such a collection of worthless metal with an engines strapped to the front. On the plus side at least we don’t need to worry about wrecking them!!
Whilst the majority of the group were settling into some nice relaxing dives, it is worth mentioning that one of HDC’s newest members successfully completed her PADI Open Water qualifying dives as well completing the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course – So congratulations and well done to Sophie!