Every morning I take out my two dogs – Winnie and Fred. This simple enough task causes me a few issues: Winnie is small and likes to idle along on her walk, whilst Fred is bigger and likes to rush ahead. When they are both on their leads it turns into a ridiculous scenario where I am situated in the middle, drawing back one dog whilst persuading the other to hurry up. Most mornings, by the time we’ve reached a field or the beach, the problem resolves itself: Winnie patters along whilst Fred chases a ball. And then some mornings Winnie decides to go against the idea of a walk, instead choosing to remain warmly tucked up beneath the covers; in which case I take Fred and we go off on a rushed walk to investigate more of the area.
On one such investigation we came across the interestingly named Sugarloaf Hill in Goodrington, Paignton (Devon). It immediately provoked the thought of Neil Young’s song ‘Sugar Mountain’:
Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons
You can’t be twenty on Sugar Mountain
Though you’re thinking that
You’re leaving there too soon
I headed up the small hill and at the top was greeted with a fantastic sight of the bay of Torbay, stretching out from the coast of Torquay on the left and Brixham on the right, to head out towards the horizon the water. I’ve come back with Fred on a few occasions now, whilst the sun rises, in order to marvel at the view.
So, why the name Sugarloaf Hill?
As it turns out there are many Sugarloaf hills across the world. The most popular is that of Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The origins of the name is stated to date back to the 16th century during the height of the Portuguese sugar trade; the mounds of sugar were likened to the mountain, and there came the genesis of the name. In this similar manner come Sugarloaf Hills/Mountains from all across the world, including Canada (Wilkie Sugar Loaf in Nova Scotia), Colombia (Cerro Pan de Azucar), Ireland (Great Sugar Loaf and Little Sugar Loaf in County Wicklow), Japan (the Sugar Loaf Hill where the US army fought in the Second World War), the Philippines (Pan de Azucar Island), and the United States (which are spread all across the country). The Sugarloaf Hill in Paignton isn’t even unique to Britain, with other ones located in Monmouthshire, Malvern, and the Folkestone Downs.
All of this may indicate that the Paignton Sugarloaf Hill isn’t anything special. But yet each one remains unique due to its variance of views. And so I will continue my morning walks, finding out more of the local area, and of standing on top of the Sugarloaf to admire the bay views.