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Published: June 22nd 2014
Day 4 and our hosts for the day are Luiz Carlos and wife Bea who superbly guide us around Rio, starting off in the oldest immigrant quarter of Rio, Sahara, which was originally settled by Lebanese people. Today it is a great market with narrow streets and stalls selling souvenirs to Cariocas and tourists alike.
We push on to the historical heart of Rio, from the recently-renovated, gleaming, golden Theatro Municipal to the Imperial palace, before having lunch in a restaurant in the old port customs area.
The day lightens up and for a while we think we’ll be able to head up Pão de Azucar (Sugar loaf mountain). We change our mind at the sight of the queue, which extends beyond the cable car building, and spills onto the square by at least 200 metres! Instead, we head to the red beach to take in the views of this iconically-shaped mountain, and sample an empada (local pie with different fillings, we try and approve the shrimp version) in Urca, a lovely neighbourhood snuggled by the bay at the foot of the sugar loaf.
We move onto Santa Teresa hill, where we take in our fill of magnificent
views over Rio, by day and night, and finish off with the lagoon Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas.
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