The 14th consecutive pilgrimage from Mellieħa to Senglea held between Maundy Thursday and Good Friday is just a couple of days away. A simple night walk started by a certain Mr Joseph Vella from Mellieħa and his son-in-law Glenn along the years has rapidly gained popularity and participants have now reached the 13,000 mark. The walk starts at 2am and stretches for some 30km, so it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted. However, if you’re really considering whether to do it or not, these seven reasons should make things a little bit easier for you.
Contribute to the Puttinu Cares Cancer Support Group
Set up in 2002 with the desire to offer a holistic approach of care for families with children suffering from cancer, Puttinu Cares Cancer Support Group offers guidance for parents in order to help them deal with this ordeal ahead and give them hope for a better future. The team gets to know the families, their weaknesses and their strengths, but to treat each family as an individual case with its own needs, it needs money. Specialised care in specialised hospitals abroad costs a lot of money, not to mention all the additional expenses such as travelling and lodging expenses for relatives and guardians. On average, 1 Maltese citizen travels to the UK for treatment every day. Your €10 subscription fee for the walk will be making things easier for Puttinu.
Feel the Good Vibe
Given the large number of participants doing such a challenging task for such a good cause, naturally there’s a good vibe throughout the whole walk. Seeing legions of people of all sorts, coming from all walks of life, running, jogging, powerwalking or simply walking, is an encouraging sight. It is a reminder that it is open to everybody; it is not something reserved only for those with a narrow waistline. Granted, you may need to be a bit trained to do it, because you can’t be the couch potato who wakes up on Maundy Thursday and decides to do a 4-hour walk in the coming early morning, but it doesn’t require athletic training either.
A post shared by • Brendon Vella • (@brenigram) on
If you’re still hesitating about whether to do it or not, you’re most probably afraid of facing such a seemingly arduous task, or else you’re just lazying around trying to come up with a set of credible justifications that make it fine for you not to give it a try. You’re wrong. You’re missing out on an opportunity that provides you with an ideal setting to challenge yourself and your limits. This could be the number one chance to realise that you actually can do it.
Experience some of Malta’s Busy Roads Without any Traffic
How often do you get to drive or walk through some of Malta’s busiest roads such as Imdina Road and Aldo Moro with no traffic whatsoever? I guess your answer is never. During the walk all roads from Mellieħa to Senglea that make up the route are closed for traffic, but that is not the best part. Given such a late time frame, all neighbouring roads will be practically free of cars, making the journey a pleasantly silent one to complete, with only the typical sound of footsteps and chattering of those heading towards Senglea.
Witness the Sunrise
Having to stay awake all night or rather wake up early in the morning to witness the magic of sunrise is something that few are willing to actually carry out in practice. What’s best than a walk that starts at 2am sharp and comes to an end at around 7am (this is extremely subjective and depends a lot on your pace)? You will automatically witness the rising sun either through the final stages of the walk or on your way back home for a well-deserved rest.
Get a Certificate and Snap a Picture
How many people on your newsfeed have been posting yearly pictures holding their certificates as soon as they get to the finishing line? Maybe you’re not willing to follow suit but in reality getting a certificate that acknowledges your efforts is a sweet token that indicates that you have been part of it all. Even better? You do not need to get to the finishing line with the first three to get a certificate. With Puttinu everyone’s a winner and your share will count as much as that of everybody else.
Practice the Real Purpose of Good Friday
Good Friday, an ideal time for reflection, is all about penance, and proper retribution for all our past year’s mistakes doesn’t sound like a bad idea either. Take this opportunity to be of service to others. Visiting churches and exhibitions symbolising the passion of the Christ is definitely not enough. It’s time to give a helping hand. A 30km walk during the night, supplied by water and fruit to keep you going, is nothing when compared to the pain and suffering some of us must go through each and every day in the hope of surviving.
Featured Image: Property of Smile for Puttinu
© 2017 – VIDA Magazine – Clifford Jo Żahra