We arrived late to Faro, after dark and our chosen anchorage was a little way up river so instead of motoring through shallow unknown waters in the dark we found the first suitable spot and dropped anchor for the first night, we were well out of the way of the main channel although later we found out that the shallow draft of many of the ferries meant that they can take a short cut right past us
In the morning we made our way further into the river system where we found maybe 50 boats anchored, still the area was very large and we found ourselves a nice spot in Calutra
I decided that I wanted to see the Benagil Caves now that we were on the south coast but unfortunately, we had passed them earlier in our sail to Faro, after a quick look at the winds we decided the best thing was to get a train there instead of sailing back again!
Getting to the train turned out to be a bit of a feat in itself, as we first had to take the dinghy to the nearest harbour, Calutra, and then a Ferry, which we couldn’t get a ticket for (due to a language misunderstanding!) We then got on the wrong ferry thinking it was the only way so we stayed on it for over an hour whilst it took us to another port first, then we finally made it to a place with a train station but the next train to Faro wasn’t for over an hour again! And all that was before getting the actual train from Faro to the caves. You can see the crazy route we took below.
Anyway, a few hours later we finally made it to the caves to find out the swell was a bit bigger than expected and they had stopped running the boat tours inside the caves, we did, however, get to see them from above and had a great cliff top walk which included seeing ‘Elephant Rock’ and a number of other cool caves and rocky outcrops before ending up at a beach surrounded by big cliffs and sea stacks.
Getting back we thought was going to be more straightforward now that we knew what ferries ran to where, however, we were too late to get the last one back!! Oops
So stuck in Faro our choice was to find somewhere to stay there or get a €60 water taxi, we decided why not make the most of it and get a room in Faro! The place we found had a pool too so we spent some time relaxing before getting the ferry back the next day
Little Han (the dinghy) and Hannah were just as we’d left them, luckily we’d thought we might be back after dark so had left the anchor light on anyway and as we had been at anchor there for a couple of nights already, without budging we didn’t feel too uncomfortable leaving the boat on its own at anchor overnight for the first time