Super awesome day!
21.09.2013 - 22.09.2013 30 °C
Kirsty's sugarloaf blog entry
Yesterday was in the top five best days of my life. The top five best days of my life would be in no particular order:
Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef
Feeding monkeys in the forest and having a beer on sugarloaf mountain
We took two buses to our starting point, using our broken Portuguese we managed to ask the ticket man to tell us when to stop in Botafogo and we asked someone else where our connecting stop was. Sugarloaf was obvious as a lot of people got off the bus here and there was a giant mountain next to the bus stop! We went and bought Brad some sunglasses as he didn't have a hat or sunglasses with him (we are still not taking valuables out where we can help it) and then made our way to the hiking trail. For those who might be unsure on whether to hike half way or catch two cable cars I would definitely recommend the hike. It's cheaper to catch the cable from half way, the forest is beautiful and it's a really enjoyable climb. We really appreciated how far up we were having climbed up so far! One tip though - wear hiking shoes or trainers, not flip flops as Brad did because it makes the climb a lot more difficult and the descent is pretty dangerous. He actually said when we got to the bottom 'next time don't let me wear flip flops I'm going to listen to you' and that's a first!
The forest was exactly as I had hoped; It was green, dense and you could hear animals rustling round and birds calling each other. The stairs were made partly with roots of the surrounding trees and just planks of wood which was lovely because it was not intrusive for the wildlife. We climbed (it is a climb not a walk with those stairs) for around five minutes until we saw a man feeding marmoset monkeys with a banana. We got up close with them and saw their tiny little velvety hand gripping the banana, as in turns, they took off tiny little peices at a time and then jumped onto the nearest branch to chow down. I was VERY excited and I think this was apparent as the man turned to me and gave me the banana to feed them.
He showed me how to hold the banana and told me to hold it tight with my fingers, and I thanked him over and over again, then ran over to the monkeys to feed them. I completely forgot how to hold the banana and the first marmoset ran up, grabbed it with his sticky little paws and ran away. HE LITERALLY WAS A CHEEKY LITTLE MONKEY! Because the banana was a bit heavy for him he stumbled on the ground with it and the other marmosets all pounced on him and they sort of shared it it which was quite nice. I was sort of scared of getting bitten but they don't bite the food first, they grab it, pull it back, then bite into it so I was pretty safe. I wished I'd had my rabies vaccination at this point though. Brad took the banana peel which still had some of the banana in and the marmosets crowded round him, grabbing and nibbling at the peel, he did a really good job of keeping cool so he managed to hold onto it which bought him a lot of time getting up close and personal. We were Buzzing! All the little marmosets are so full of energy and they jump around each other which looks so funny because they have a really bouncy jump and they move so fast! Their little heads with their furry ears made them look a little bit like Einstein!
A bit further up we saw a mother marmoset on a branch with a little baby on her back, nestled into her fur. I felt really happy that I'd seen that.
Enough about the monkeys. We walked up and up, and saw a big yellow and black lizard which must have been around 2ft long. He scarpered off when he heard us though. It took us around one and a half hours to get to the top where we had lunch and bought our tickets for the cable car. Brad got some nice havainas- they are much cheaper here because they are made in Brazil so if anyone is coming to Brazil, it's best to buy your shoes here. For lunch I got a big fruit salad which is the first nice bit of food I've had here and I found out that fruit from day one was guava we also tried coconut water which is quite nice, but I don't think it's anything special especially in the heat when you want a cold drink because it's warm from sitting out. The view from the top was picturesque and we were lucky to have a clear blue sky so that we could seen for miles.
The cable car was scary. I am incredibly scared of heights. So as soon as I saw it coming towards us I had my mind made up that I wouldn't get on, but Brad dragged me on anyway. I'd like to say he convinced me but he didn't, he forced me and I am very grateful that I have him to force me into these horribly exciting experiences. At the time though, I was studying what looked like a bit of rope on a pulley system holding us over the rainforest and it was a very long way down. There are no seats on the cable car, just bars to hold onto sort of like the London Underground, only instead of seeing darkness through the windows (which are everywhere) you see how far beneath you everything is. I cracked, I could feel myself about to cry and the driver told me to sit on the floor while I wiped my eyes and stared at the ground, and everyone around me was having the time of their lives. Brad asked a man to take a picture for us so he had to sort of lean down while I remained crouched and we were all laughing because I could see the comedy of the situation. Even the driver had a chuckle! The man taking the picture called Brad cruel and we reached our stop so off we got.
The view from sugarloaf is even better that from Corcovado mountain (where Christ the redeemer lives), and we could see christo really clearly from where we were. There were lots of eagles, and we saw a little gecko, sat in the sun and had a Brahma. brad pointed out that over the last couple of days we've been to some of the best pubs in the world looking at where they are! We got the cable car down after around an hour, and made our descent.
At the bottom of the mountain sits a beautiful little beach. It's small, crowded and there are bums and dicks everywhere, with beach vendors dotted inbetween and the cool water next to us. I was first in, Brad waited with our bag while I quickly cooled off. The waves were pretty strong so I didn't swim, I just sort of stood and wandered about a bit getting knocked over and I realised why everyone wears thongs- otherwise your bikini gets full of sand. So I gave myself a wedgie and waited on the sand while Brad had a swim. We were the only white people on the beach bar one other couple but people didn't seem to be staring so much. We got a really nice feed on the beach. A man with basically hot coals in a kind of suitcase had an eski full of haloumi and hot dogs. We got one big haloumi on a stick and one hot dog which cooked up to be huge and both were delicious. Finally hot vegetarian food! Then we got churro a with hot chocolate sauce inside and cinnamon sugar. Anyone who know me and brad will know we are crazy for churro a and these did not disappoint! Amazing views, lovely water, great feed so all in all a really beautiful day. Hooray!