Mountain (in Portuguese, Pão de Açúcar), is a peak
situated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from the mouth of Guanabara Bay
on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 meters
(1,300 ft) above sea-level, its name is said to refer to its resemblance
to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. This may,
however, be a folk-etymology, since it is believed by some that the
name actually derives from Pau-nh-acuqua (“high hill”) in
the Tupi-Guarani language, as used by the indigenous Tamoios.
The mountain is only one of half a dozen monolithic morros of granite
and quartz that rise straight from the water's edge around Rio de Janeiro.
A glass-paneled cablecar (in popular Portuguese, bondinho - more properly
called teleférico), capable of holding 75 passengers, runs along
a 1400-metre route between the peaks of Babilônia and Urca every
half hour. The original cablecar line was built in 1912. So familiar
is this peak, the mere sight of it in a film is sufficient to establish
the setting as Rio.
When visiting Sugar Loaf, one should not forget to take some time to
visit "Pista Claudio Coutinho" as well. It is a trail by the
sea which starts in "Red Beach" (Praia Vermelha") and
is about 2.5 km long. People usually go running or walking there. Some
just sit down to enjoy the view, which is fantastic, while others bring
children to play and watch or feed the capuchin monkeys. From this trail
one can also climb the first part of "Sugar Loaf" mountain
and enjoy not only the landscape but also the hiking itself.
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