Sunday, September 10, 2017

FRANCOPHONE MEETING IN RIO DE JANEIRO - A LONG THERM RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FRANCE AND BRAZIL AND I LOVED IT! :)


NEWS FROM RAFA IN RIO DE JANEIRO - A VERY SPECIAL AFTERNOON IN MARAPENDI WETLANDS

Good Evening Dear Readers, this is how I normally start when I send email messages to my guests and friends all over the World, and I must thank you for writing to me so often, I deeply appreciate it. 

But I have to write about this wonderful news...I just had a close friends lunch on one of the most hidden gems of Rio, a wetland region in Barra da Tijuca called MARAPENDI (yes, if you hire me as a guide, certainly I will take you there. 

We had a day off, and my good friend, actually one of the closest friends I have, she is like a sister to me, Grazi, suggested us to have a lunch together with her family, husband Alan, Mother, another good friend Rosina, and Father, Bertrand, wonderful friend and my everlasting partner Marcone Lima (who is also a Guide). Grazi told us about a super trendy restaurant on the water called LAGUNA - check their website - http://www.restaurantelaguna.com.br/ - 

The ambiance is sooo greenish, all surrounded by many tropical species, we could eat listening to the birds, amazing conversation and we are sure that France and Brazil will always be on the top of any agenda. And they are our friends from such a long time. I must thank for this lovely and very kind invitation. 


The images cannot tell you how delicious all those dishes are, the Brazilian way of preparing sea food, and we had the famous BOBO DE CAMARAO.

It is one of my favorite stews: The rich BOBO DE CAMARAO or Shrimp in Creamy Yuca Sauce. Just as any other dish from Afro-Brazilian cuisine, BOBÓ has a soul!!!

It originates from Bahia, the state with the largest number of Black African descendants. Unique like its people, Bahia has the most exquisite cuisine in Brazil, which evolved when cooks improvised on both traditional African and Portuguese recipes by using locally available ingredients. Its differences from all of the other regional cuisines of Brazil set it apart completely.

Like most dishes from Bahian Cuisine, BOBÓ is prepared with the three ingredients referred to as the "HOLY TRINITY OF BAHIAN CUISINE" - coconut milk, malagueta pepper (its heat level is about the same as Tabasco), dende oil (a heavy oil extracted from the fruits of an  African palm tree, that adds flavor and also a bright orange coloring to the foods)



Our big thanks to this wonderful family which we know for many years, love grows, understanding and respect continues. We had a fantastic time at Laguna's, come and join us to a wonderful and hidden Rio that you have no idea that it exists. 

I am ready, lots of love, 

Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner

Saturday, September 9, 2017

FIESTA URUGUAYA EN RIO DE JANEIRO CON RAFA Y MARCONE


Son muy pocas las veces que yo escribo en español en mi blog que es mi espacio donde la gente siente y sabe quien soy. Me llamo Rafa, y mi compañero de vida, trabajo, viajes y aventura Marcone, nos juntamos y hacemos Rio y cualquier parte de Brasil algo mas genuino, de la gente, y facil para todos los viajeros del mundo.

Pero hoy quiero hacer un tributo a un País que siempre me acompaño toda la vida y hacerles saber que en nuestro Brasil siempre hubo espacio para una fiesta bien criolla, a la uruguaya. 

UN HOMENAJE AL URUGUAY Y TODOS LOS URUGUAYOS QUE AQUI VIAJAN. 

Y gran fuente de mi inspiracion viene de tanta gente que yo amo de vuestro País, mi historia con ustedes y mi familia que por fin, mi primito Isma y su inseparable compañera Sabri llegaron a visitar el HOGAR BRASILERO de este lado de la familia. 

ISMA Y SABRI...POR USTEDES ABRO LA RARA OCASION QUE USO DE NUESTRO IDIOMA PARA ESCRIBIR EN ESTE BLOG.

Tambien es para que toda la gente de Uruguay sepa que en Brasil somos los embajadores que con cariño y mate nos vamos a recibirlos con los brazos abiertos. 


Y hablando de brazos abiertos...en Rio se recibe asi, bajo los brazos del Cristo que comprueba que Dios es Brasilero, se reciben la gente de Uruguay, y desde la cumbre del cerro Corcovado se abren paisajes hermosas de toda la ciudad, la famosa Copacabana, la elegante Ipanema, Rio rodeado de morros, mar y gente bonita. Aqui llegaran Isma y Sabri.



Asi es la magia de Rio, pura belleza, puro corazon, pura vida (perdon Costa Rica) y una alegria inmensa de estar con la gente no solo de Uruguay pero de todas las Tierras Hispanas y Lusitanas. De Brasil para toda la America Latina queremos decir que aqui ustedes tienen hermanos muy dichosos y listos para enseñar todos los secretos. Vengan a veranear, vengan a pasar momentos inolvidables en esta tierra que no quiere saber de lo que tienes, es la ciudad que te ve como sos.



Bueno aqui la fiesta puede ser uruguaya como esta que tuvimos hace poco tiempo, la fiesta es de todo mundo, que vengan con toda la magia, energia, vida y con el pecho abierto y seguro que aqui hay diversion. 


Muchas gracias por toda la amistad, por toda la confianza y que por favor me manden correos pues les explicaré mucho mas de lo que se puede hacer por estos pagos tropicales. 

Este es un homenaje a uno de los paises que me hablan por mi. Uruguay, seguro que está muy presente! 

No hay que ponersen celosos, españoles, argentinos, chilenos, peruanos, colombianos, mis amigos de Mexico, Puerto Rico, Ecuador y Venezuela, los quiero mucho y por favor ustedes tambien, mandame gente y visiten mi blog!!!

Aqui yo soy el guia, el amigo, el que dá consejos y que estará siempre yo mismo y un equipo de maravillosos guias para llevarles a todos los lados, dar ideas de lugares donde quedar y las mejores sugerencias de donde comer, no tenemos el orgasmo de la carne gaucha pero seguro que lo mejor de la comida lugareña ustedes van a probar, ir a los lugares mas copados y vamos a pasar lindo.

Escribenme, mi correo es brazilrafario@gmail.com y siempre visiten el blog, está mucho mas escrito en ingles, pero el paseo por las fotos valen mucho la pena.

Rafael Torres Lopes
Guia de Turismo y Consejero de Viajes

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

VISITING RIO - ENJOYING THE PLACE LIKE CARIOCAS DO - YES - SUGAR LOAF IS INCLUDED!!!! :)))))


Yes Sir, another iconic place of Rio, the Sugar Loaf, we all know it as PÃO DE AÇUCAR which literally means a "Sweet Hill". This is how the first Portuguese named the amazing mountain they saw from miles in the Ocean.

Cable cars are used to get to the two hills, the Urca Hill which you should NOT explore first, and finally, you take another cable car to the last hill, the real Sugar Loaf; this is where I usually go first because the views from there are superb, so for sure we will go there. Especially if we have two days to explore Rio!

NOTE: If we have just one day, we are not visiting the Sugar Loaf because we have much more places to see in Rio and if you have more days, it is very easy to go on your own. BUT IF WE HAVE TWO DAYS, then we can go, no problem. But stay tuned for my next paragraph.... JUST PAY ATTENTION:

MARK MY WORDS: NITEROI - A BIG SURPRISE OF YOUR TRIP IN RIO



No other place in Rio you can have such an image...And Niteroi holds much more. 

Okay, now tell me...when you are thinking about going to Rio, have you ever heard about NITEROI????

Big mistake not to think about it...your incredible photos will be taken there, Niteroi is a vivid part of Rio. It is an escape for all people in Rio who look for quiet and privacy, we use Niteroi to be away from the big URBE (big city).

Just like the translation says, Niteroi means hidden waters, from the ocean you do not see the city, the mountains hide small paradises that I am here to take you and this will be an A PLUS in your plans regarding your first trip to Rio. 

It is good that Niteroi is not popular but it is exactly like the relationship between NEW YORK and NEW JERSEY, or SAN FRANCISCO and OAKLAND; or from the Aussie point of view...something like MELBOURNE and GEELONG.

So if I suggest you in my first message to you, believe me: WE ARE GOING TO NITEROI!!!


I am sorry, maybe I am not normal, I am just Rafa...Niteroi provokes your creativity, Niteroi is futuristic and teaches the country how to combine style and quality of life. Niteroi is one of Niemeyer's favorite places so he gifted the city with the best of this amazing architecture like the MAC MUSEUM, more than a museum it is a landmark that will give you breathtaking views of Rio and Niteroi itself.

Rio and Niteroi is a perfect combination to feed our hearts with fun and leisure.



It is impossible not to love Niteroi, my german friend (and guest) Jen loooooved the city and we explore so many unusual places together, he brought his lovely wife Roxi that introduced Niteroi with her romanian side, and I love to make Niteroi an international point for curious travelers. Only in Niteroi we have unique views to Rio, we share the same bay (the magical GUANABARA BAY)



Think about BEACHES in Rio, can you name some???

No doubt you will say...COPACABANA...for sure you will say IPANEMA...if you go deep in your research you will find LEBLON...Good, that's it. 

BUT WHAT A HEC IS ITACOATIARA???? Yes....Itacoatiara, this name will never be on your list, but this is the big secret I will happily tell you...not far from Rio we have amazing spots where you will see places just like the Portuguese navigators saw for the first time, and NITEROI IS FILLED WITH SURPRISES!!!



And to end this post with style, NITEROI has the unknown PARQUE DA CIDADE, a place that you will see it is simply way more complete than the Sugar Loaf and the Christ altogether. 

So please, I hate to interfere in your plans, but as a BRAZIL's expert, I strongly suggest you...DO NOT IGNORE NITEROI, this could be the highlight of your trip.

It is easier to ask me which place I DID NOT VISIT in Brazil, and Niteroi is present in my top five favorite places!

SO IF YOU HAVE ONE DAY IN RIO, WE WILL GO TO NITEROI, IF YOU CHOOSE TWO DAYS IN RIO, NITEROI WILL BE A GOOD PART OF OUR LIST!!!



My name is Rafael, guests and good friends call me Rafa, and you will meet me in your tours in Rio because I will love to show you unique, classical and different places. I am a registered tour guide for 18 years now and I think my real goal in life is helping travel business in Brazil, and you are the only one who can always giove me inspiration to go on. Thank you dear Reader to follow my blog and keep visiting because once in a while I will be updating, always showing you new places and ideas about anything that happens in Rio, the rest of Brazil and the whole South America. In few words, I am honored to be brazilian and very proud to make my land easier for you!

WITH LOTS OF LOVE, I REMAIN, 

Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner

For more info, please write to me, brazilrafario@gmail.com