by Richard B.
I was stationed at Terceira from 1967-1969 and believe the Alqar do Carvo caves were not developed at that time as they look like the cave we explored. There was just a shaft (like a mine shaft) that ended and a drop off to a pit with an opening above and a landing about 50 ft or so below. We used a rope and climbed down to the floor. There was another drop off but we could not see bottom and never saw the bottom. Was wondering if this was the place we were in. We also went into other caves that we had to crawl through. I enjoyed my stay there and spent much of my time there with locals. Had a friend from Okinawa who had his wife's family there and got involved with many of the festivals. Many pleasant memories.
What you describe is very likely Algar do Carvao, which has been set up for easier access via a tunnel since you left the island. The caves were first discovered in the 1800's and only a few explorations were done until the 1960's when it became more common to explore via a rope. I can tell you that the total depth is 100 meters.
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