OUR CRAZY STORY: VISITING BENAGIL CAVES WITH CAMERA GEAR
This story is one of my favourites…
When Mike and I found pictures of Benagil Caves we knew we had to go see it. We did some research and learned that the only way to get on the beach inside the cave is by kayak, paddle board or swimming from closest beach. You can take a boat tour but it doesn’t stop on the beach inside. We decided a kayak was going to be our play. We got up at 7am packed up the drone and the camera, drove to the beach and waited in line for a kayak.
We were the first in line and when they finally opened the kiosk they told us they were only renting out paddle boards. We looked each other like “oh, sh*t are we going to be ok with all this gear on a paddle board?!”
We risked it. We put our Wandrd camera bag in not 1 but 2 garbage bags, grabbed our paddle board and headed out to the beach. The cave is only 200ish meters from the beach so not too far. Our biggest thing was braving the waves to get onto the paddle board. I got on, Mike handed me the bag and then he hopped on. As we paddled towards the cave I was already super proud that we were even doing this. I sat there with $6000 worth of camera gear in my lap and both freaked out but also excited about where we were going.
We got to the cave with only 2 other people there, perfect! We landed on the beach, excited that we made it but a moment later a big wave washed up to shore and soaked us with it. I quickly got up from the board, ran up the beach and started shaking off the bag. The camera bag was in 2 garbage bags so deep down I knew i was being ridiculous and it would be fine but it still made me nervous. I opened up the bags and everything was dry. phew.
We took out all the gear took a few pictures with the camera and then took out the drone… For those of you that fly drones you’ll know that if you fly inside a cave it doesn’t always give you the best signal. Also, If you’ve ever been to the Algarve in Portugal you’ll know that these rocky faces are best spots for birds to makes their nests. All this to say, I had a few minor heart attacks losing signal on the drone and almost crashing it into the wall of the cave and of course plenty of birds came out to play when they heard the buzzing drone. It was…crazy lol but we managed to get some of my favourite shots that I’ve ever taken.
When we finished up in the cave we got all our things packed up again to leave. By this time boat tours were coming in and out of the cave creating these really big waves. A couple of girls were down the beach from us in a similar situation with their paddle board trying to get out. A wave came in and push the board into one of the girl’s throats. Mike ran down to see if she was ok and she said she was fine just in shock. WELL YAH!!! If I took one to the jugular I would be in shock too! After 10 minutes of waiting we got back on the board and headed out. We paddled around the cave to check out this deserted beach. It was so beautiful and we had the place all to ourselves. Perfect way to relax after our cave adventures.
Once we were done on the beach we headed back to shore. That whole story lives on in my mind as one of those moments where you were scared to do it but so happy you did.