“ Name: Oki-koki / Type: Speed boat trip experience in Malta „
OKI KO-KI-THE BEST BOAT TRIP IN MALTA I think Malta is one of those places where visitors have very varied reactions to it. Like Marmite it seems to be either loved or loathed. I fall into the first group and absolutely love it, as does my husband and our now grown up children. I first visited the island at the age of sixteen and spent a month there and I liked it so much that I have been back several times since. True, it can be a little on the smelly side at times, well to be perfectly honest sometimes VERY smelly and some areas are quite built up and the landscape is mostly arid. But what I really like about Malta is there is so much to do for a small island in terms of both culture and fun. And I am always impressed by the accessibility of Malta's delights. Although the island is steeped in history and the islanders are justly proud of this fact it still seems to me to be a down to earth place where the inhabitants don't take themselves too seriously. What's more, they are well used to the British holiday maker and put up with us quite well. In fact many of them have British relatives or family living in the U.K. Probably because of being so well acquainted with the British, they seem to understand the Brits who visit the island and can share a joke or two. English is widely spoken so it also helps greatly towards good communication between the locals and the Brits. Another great advantage to spending a holiday here is that as it is such a compact staying anywhere here means you won't be very far from the coast. And In the sweltering heat of a Maltese summer being able to travel quickly to the sea can't be bad. This island is a great place to visit if you enjoy sightseeing with ease. Buses and taxis are easy to use and, as in Malta they drive on the left, this makes things easier for the British, at least. You can see a lot of the island in a day, whether you travel by car or bus. I have stayed in various Maltese resorts over the years, but whenever I go, and wherever I stay, I always like to take a boat trip of some kind. I have always enjoyed boat trips and when the sun is shining and the sky is blue and clear without a cloud in sight then what better past time to while away some time on a hot afternoon? On my most recent trip to the island, whilst walking around the bustling town of Bugibba, my family and I thought we would like to spend part of the afternoon on a boat but we didn't want this to take up the whole afternoon. Boats are to be seen in abundance in bustling Bugibba, so we really were spoilt for choice. My family and I (four of us on this day) all agreed that we would probably be most likely to enjoy a speedboat trip. We had a look to see what was on offer and there was a lot. But, we couldn't have missed this particular boat with 'Oki Ko-Ki' written on it. The boat was quite large for a speed boat was bright and cheerful. Driving the boat was its owner (a Maltese man called Tony) and what a character! Showing of his brown deeply tanned Maltese skin, clothed only in his swim shorts, his dark curly hair hanging way down his back, probably, I thought, in the same style he has had since he was a teenager, quite some time ago. As we stood watching, he called out in his Maltese accent, for us to join his boat trip. He was so insistent that we felt compelled to go and climb aboard. He helped the ladies onto the boat, insisting that they took his hand to clamber onto the boat, which isn't the easiest thing to do with dignity, all the while keeping up banter, until he had enough passengers on his boat to begin the trip. And off we set! We were promised a trip around the islands coast, and we would visit caves and the crystal clear waters of the blue lagoon which is near to Comino, a tiny island which is a part of the Maltese group. My teenaged daughter, an animal lover, seemed more fascinated by Tony's brown mongrel dog that seemed to understand his owner's every word. He would obey commands to move to different parts of the boats. Sometimes he had a swim. The dog appeared unmoved and not at all phased by passengers on the boat who tried to talk to him. He only had ears and eyes for his owner. I can't remember how much we paid, but I know it was reasonable compared to other boat trips, and cheaper than we expected, if it had been double the cost then I am sure it would still have provided great value for money as we all had a delightful trip. We left the coast at Bugibba, traveling at high speed, skimming across the blue-green waves of the Mediterranean Sea. At times Tony drove the boat at speed into the waves, seeming to delight in getting us all sprayed from the sea. He laughed as we were showered but, no matter, as the cooling water was refreshing and welcome. He would stop the boat at times and then Tony would talk about the depth of the sea, our whereabouts, etc. We sped around the coast for a while with Tony pointing out places of interest in the distance, and making many jokes. Any boats that sailed near to us were subjected to his pretend derision. His was the best boat and the best trip! All the boat owners seemed familiar and friendly with each other and their exchanges were amusing. When we reached the wonderfully clear waters of the blue lagoon Tony dropped anchor and we were invited to swim. He joked that he would come and pick us up later; the water is very deep here. Some of the passengers chose to swim but we didn't as we hadn't planned on a boat trip so weren't wearing swim wear. Then we could see the island of Comino. Here the water is clear and the sand white. I think it a shame though that this spot has bectome so popular. When I first visited Comino many years ago it was idyllic, but now it is difficult to even find a spot on which to place a towel. We didn't alight as this was too short boat trip than this would have required if landing on Comino. Tony did say that he often took parties out to Comino to swim and snorkel for a few hours before returning. Then the Oki Ko-Ki squeezed itself (alright, Tony steered!) as far into several caves as was safe and possible. He was quite excited to show some of the weird rock formations that were supposed to look like certain parts of the anatomy. As we went into an especially dark cave, with boat engine off the water could be heard lapping at the sides of the Oki Ko-Ki and nothing much else could be heard until Tony told us this caves was home to many bats. I think he lied, but we all jumped as he made a squeak which was meant to be a bat. I probably jumped the most, being terrified of bats. Then backing very slowly and carefully out of the caves we were taken to see more of the island's coastline. This boat trip is fantastic if you want to meet one of the islands colourful characters and aren't too serious a person. I believe Malta is full of character and fun. Tony navigated the boat well and we all felt confident in his skill. He gave us a wonderful, memorable trip which was entertaining and funny throughout and never too rude. Everyone found him hilarious. Although we went on this trip as we love a speed boat trip, and wanted to again (as this wasn't our first trip to Malta) see the caves, we were all in agreement that this was more than an ordinary boat trip; it was something rather special. The Oki Ko-ki returned us safely back to Bugibba. Once on land we went into a cafe for refreshments before catching a bus back to our hotel with time for a swim in the pool before dinner.