Culatra's lovely old tractors
Friday 18th October - Ilha Culatra
There are no cars on this island made of sand, instead a mottley collection of old tractors (I have so many photos to add to my tractor porn collection) help move boats around and deliver goods to the bars and restaurants when the ferry brings in supplies. Outside the school the mode of transport was obviously bikes and we saw a couple of Piaggio Ape three wheeler vans that just about fit on the narrow paved walkways. I wonder if one would fit on the back deck?
No need for bike sheds at this school
The village of Culatra is a maze of low level cottages with flagstone paths winding around them. A handful of bars and cafes service the locals and tourists who come in on the ferries. Many houses have managed to eke out a garden in the sand with old fishing nets used as fences and flotsam and jetsam for decoration.
From the village a boardwalk heads south across the dunes to the beach, crossing creeks where the sea finds a way in at high tide. It was a warm day but not many people were taking advantage of the sands. We could see to the east the lagoon where the multihulls and boats able to take the ground make their home and we've just heard that some boats spend the winter out at anchor where we are.
We did think about spending the winter somewhere like this or maybe up the Guadiana but dismissed it. We would save lots of money but we're ready for some marina life where we can get some urgent jobs done in ease, have a social life and go exploring and not have to worry about leaving the boat when we visit home.
The anchorage is not quite as peaceful as we'd expected what with the planes from Faro passing right overhead and the occasional fishing boat wizzing by playing at slalom between the anchored boats or how-close-can-we-go-to-a-boat-without-hitting-it even though there are acres of space. Being rolled awake at 6am is not as fun as it sounds. But it's not so bad; there weren't as many planes today as yesterday and I'm filtering them out already just like I did when I lived near Gatwick. There is loads of space to anchor and the holding seems good so far. And who are we to complain about the fishermen trying to make a living in the place where they live, we are just temporary visitors after all. But it would be nice if they showed us a teeny bit of consideration.