Published: April 3rd 2012April 1st 2012
Sugar Loaf Mountain
Went down for breakfast around 8.00 am and took a local bus to Sugar Loaf Mountain. The bus drivers drive like there is no tomorrow and even if there is a tomorrow, it doesn't feel like they want to see it - so fast, they practically turn each corner on two wheels and narrowly avoid anything else in their paths and in the other lanes!!
We joined the queues for the cable car - 65 people maximum in each car - and went to the top. The first cable car stopped at the first station and we got out, walked around the viewpoint, bought a yoghurt smoothie drink, sat for a while and took the cable car to the second station at the top of Sugar Loaf. Took a couple of pictures, walked around a bit and admired the view which - as expected - gave a bird's eye view of more or less the whole of Rio. We didn't hang around for too long and got the cable cars back to the bottom again.
We walked to the bus stop and whilst waiting, a delapidated minbus arrived and people started getting on. It appeared they were going in
Ipanema 'Hippy market'
The girls from Ipanema go cooking
our direction and we also got on (it was a twelve-seater similar to the one we took in Peru). We thought the bus drivers drove fast and scarily. This was far worse - possibly because it was smaller. We were glad when we reached our stop in one (or should I say two) pieces!!
We alighted at the Sunday 'hippie market' in Ipanema and walked round most of the market. Lots of touristy things to buy including the plastic battery-operated two-inch copy of the huge Christ statue which constantly changed colours did not float our boat and anyway, we couldn't decide on a suitable recipient for such a gift so decided against it!
We managed to home in on the food stall. This was manned by several African ladies who appeared to be serving specifically African-type foods and lots of delicious looking cakes. We opted for sharing a plate of some round ball-thing with a couple of sauces over it and some prawns. No idea what it was but it was actually very tasty and obviously, quite fresh as it was made in front of us and one day on, we are still alive so presumably it wasn't toxic.......................
We walked back to the hotel and went swimming in the pool on the 11th floor and read our kindles until it was time for showers.
Once we were clean, we walked all the way along Copacabana beach to a restaurant recommended on Trip Advisor (our travelling bible!!) for mezze including felafel, humus and tehina and pitta (Ed's favourite although not exactly Brazilian).
Following a nice meal, we walked back to the hotel and were in bed by 11.00 pm.