And of course...the glorious of all glories...GLEN...He is a very experienced fireman but not good enough to extinguish his own fire that he carries in his body and soul!!!!
WONDERFUL FRIENDS AND MARVELOUS PEOPLE!!!!
And they come from a country that I adore!!!! THEY ARE FROM ENGLAND!!!
I am sure that just one time in Brazil is never suficient for you to say: I HAVE BEEN TO BRAZIL...so I am sure they will always come back...firsgt because BRAZIL IS REALLY FAB, second because they to have a family here right now!!!
Marion and Glen, thank you sooooooo very much!!!!
SO WITH GREAT HONOR I SHOW TO ALL FRIENDS MARION'S WORDS ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE IN RIO WITH US!!!!
MARION WROTE: Glen and I always had this burning desire to go to Brazil and more particularly Rio for Carnival so with a big birthday for me coming up this year, the seeds were sown for us both to save hard and make this a trip of a lifetime.
Little did we know back then in early February 2008 that would find a hidden gem by the name of Rafael Torres. Glen found him through months and months of extensive research over the Internet, more particularly on the Virtual Tourist website. Glen had seen his name crop up on more than one occasion and the reviews he received were all excellent.
We knew that we would also need a certain someone to show us around Rio and so over the space of a year Glen, cultivated a friendship with Rafa that I now think will last for many, many years.
Rafa is an extremely popular tour guide so we had to make our mind up that far in advance that we would need to have him when we finally arrived on Valentine’s Day 2009. What a perfect romantic start to our vacation.
Glen and I are back home now in London and the dust has finally settled so I felt it was time for me to fully put down in words our appreciation for this man and his wonderful friend Marcone who also played a very big part in our trip.
Through the wonder of Skype we had been in touch with Rafa on several occasions before we flew to Rio so seeing him and Marcone at the airport when we arrived was just amazing and I felt like I’d already known them for a long time. That was a wonderful feeling. He then took us to our hotel in Ipanema which had the most amazing view over the ocean and to wake up with the sound of the waves crashing on the beach is something that even now I’ve been back home for a week, I still miss very much along with the glorious weather!
I have to say that the time we spent with him and Marcone seeing all these fabulous places of interest, Corcovado, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Niteroi, Viradouro (for the samba school rehearsal), the Tijuca forest, the Maracana (Glen’s Holy Grail for soccer fans) and Glória to name but a few. They made every trip so interesting and funny and we would laugh at the same things. We ate the most amazing Brazilian food in equally amazing restaurants with views to match. Not to mention the Caiparinhas that will never taste as they did in Rio – I shall always remember them and how lethal some of them were as my legs will testify when I tried to stand up.
Rafa and Marcone made everything so possible for Glen and I – and they were really protective over me which I found very touching. I was so pleased we got to meet Rafa’s family too – his Mum and Dad should be very proud of this guy who has really captured the essence of Rio and takes you to places that no tourists would probably venture and that makes you feel very special.
I can’t thank Rafa enough for being such an amazing tour guide and friend whilst we were staying in Rio. We sorely miss him now we’re back home – I miss that “Rafamobile” of his – what a Godsend that car was when it was so hot outside and I was a horrible, melting, sweaty mess, desperate for the chill of “Rafamobile” air conditioning!
Anyone who is considering a trip to Brazil should really think twice before using anyone else to steer them through the crazy language of Portuguese or who has his knowledge of that beautiful city.
We’ll be back for more I know it! I just hope Rafa and Marcone will be still doing what they do best when we’ve saved up enough to head back there?
All our love to you and Marcone
Marion & Glen (London, England)
8 March 2009