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Bread of Sugar

On the quest to be the ultimate tourist, hitting all the hot spots Rio could dish up, Sugarloaf mountain was next on the list. If you’re not afraid of extremely high cable car journeys and viewing platforms 396m above sea level then this trip is for you. And if you are afraid you should cut the crap, put on you hat of bravery and get yourself up there anyway. Even with misty sky and lurking clouds in the horizon, the vistas were stunning. Well worth the albeit slightly terrifying cable car trip.

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Its comical name Pão de Açucar (literally bread of sugar/sugar bread) was coined in the 16th century by the Portuguese during the heyday of sugar cane trade in Brazil; when transported the sugar was placed in conical moulds made of clay, shaped in a similar peak to the mountain.

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Lunch called for more traditional Brazilian food as we headed to a common style of restaurant/cafe. The seemingly untitled restaurant was bustling, yells travelling from the tiny kitchen port window to the main cashier point two metres away, dually acting as a meat grilling and drink prepping station. Wooden tables and chairs lined the narrow space and customers chomped on their plates of sweet smelling food, laughing and conversing in the sing-song of the Portuguese language. Families crowded around each other, middle aged men in caps and vests chortled and drank, pairs of friends giggled and gossiped, occasionally pausing to glance their phone notifications. My belly was grumbling and it almost no time at all the food was under my nose, more than I should’ve put into my body, but my hunger said otherwise. Plates of rice and fries accompanied by grilled juicy meats, fresh fish and feijão preto lined the table, all ready to be washed down with by a two litre bottle of Guarana. Barely a word was exchanged as the last grain of rice was gone, and the stomach more than satisfied. Lunch done well is lunch in Brazil.

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