Friday, April 17, 2009


It was a wonderful tour with marvelous people!!! That day I got more 4 canadian friends!!! This time people from British Columbia, from the beautiful and modern city of Vancouver...The beach land of Canada,and they came to Brazil to see OTHER BEACHES!!!
This tour I had a special mission... it was FRAN'S I had to make it special anf again...People always think tat my tours takes about 8 hours, I made it about 11 hours and I never charge extra!!!
I had someone's birthday and you know, when you really like a person and it is her birthday you really have to give a big present and I decided to give to Fran the best of Rio!!!so not only her but the whole team had a present AND I WAS IN THE MOOD!!!
Fran came with her husband, the painter and the real character...GORDON, a very nice and talkative bloke, I thought he was a "WALKING LIBRARY"...And she came with two other friends...the canadian couple Alex and Mavis...And right in the first minute we became a family!!!
They came to me thanks to the generous help of Marta, a fantastic friend, the owner of a spectacular PENTHOUSE in the beach of Copacabana which you can stay, it is a guesthouse, maybe th most interesting GuestHouse in the beach, her website is and one of my best resources where people meet me and we always have a good time in and out of Rio de Janeiro.
Without Marta I would never have the ORGASM to meet such a fantastic team like Fran, Gordon, Alex and Mavis!!!
I had another opportunity to write about them to report their adventure up north of Brazil when they ported in Recife!
But here they could see the Christ... They went there in a different way, we reached the Christ by car so we could see a big part of the Forest, the Tijuca...It is the best option for several reasons, you save money because reaching the statue by their minibuses you pay way less, it is 13 reais that you pay, and by trainyou pay 46 and the ride is not as interesting as driving in the forest which you can stop whenever you want!
Then we went through the heart of the Forest, we stopped in the natural showers of Paineiras which is always a chance for us to renew our energies! And we went to the main prt of the Forest where the King of Portugal created our first national park more than 200 years ago!
Not only I always do, I took them to the wetland region of Marapendi. This is where people really can experience local's daily life in a region with 7 islands, lots of mangroove vegetation with rich bird life and where people can understand the movement of the Lagoon tide and the ocean tide, meeting all kind of people in a wonderful scenery. it is like seeing the BRAZILIAN VERSION OF THE EVERGLADES!!!!
We also had a quick tour in our downtown, we could see our old churches such as Candelaria where we find out more about "canadian angels" (they have the pictures!!!) and we visited a very interesting exihibition about "brazilian painting", all brazilian painters from ALL TIMES where there showing the beauty and the custons of our country which provided my canadian friends a Wonderful Experience. Walking at the Centro is a fabulous chance for you to understand more of Rio!!! That place is a cultural center sponsored by our State Bank, Banco do Brasil, and the name of the place is CENTRO CULTURAL BANCO DO BRASIL.
Not only this, I took them to NITEROI....
Well, you know what I think about NITEROI... Niteroi gives you always the best surprises of any trip to Rio de Janeiro. it is a city located right in the other side of our Bay, the Guanabara Bay. We first stopped in the ocean promenade where locals like to fish in Boa Viagem, then we saw the MODEN ART MUSEUM, MAC which provides an important view of all the Bay area, and we visited a fishing village, the very charming Jurujuba with its very special pace of life, we saw the boats, we met the fishermen and we finally see the society working in gtheir normal rhythm!!! And to close our adventure with pages of gold..we climbed up a hill...and this hill is special, very special. A special moment for my guests and always a special moment for me!!!!
We went to PARQUE DA CIDADE...You can notice in the pictures of our mountains that we were really touched by so many beauties and that was the time where my friends really realize that Rio is way much more than Copacanana and the Sugar Loaf. You really realize that Rio is one of the most fantastic destination in the World!!!
Well I did this tour with ALL MY LOVE for this wonderful people!!!! PEOPLE WHO ALWAYS TALK TO YOU WITH A SMILE IN THEIR FACES, PEOPLE WHO ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING INTERESTING TO SAY THAT MAKES YOU LEARN ALOT ABOUTTHE WORLD IN GENERAL. I made this tour like I was touring with my own family and I gues they stayed with that delicious TASTE OF ASKING FOR MORE!!!!
And to make this day special...FRAN YESTERDAY WROTE ME AN EMAIL and she explained with very few words (yes I know, I write a lot!!!) the joy they had when they experience my tour!!!!
Hi Raphael--(Haffa)We just returned home from our wonderful adventure -- of course it all started in Rio and what a terrific way to start our trip. You especially made Rio come alive and our fondest memories are the day we spent with you -- on my birthday - which I will never forget, was absolutely perfect, and YOU were the 'icing' on the cake. Thank you for that great day. We also loved our tour in Recife which you organized with Karen -- it worked out amazingly well and we loved Recife --- especially when we were in the air conditioned bus. It was certainly HOT that day.
SO FRAN...NO WORDS TO THANK YOU SO MUCH LOVE COMING FROM YOU...Your smile was indeed they real payment telling that I am in the right way. And the other 3 members of the BRAZILIAN ADVENTURE also gave me their hearts and we became FIVE HEARTS exploring the best of Rio. They met a guide and they got a friend in their lives and I met 4 guests and I won four wonderful friends!!!!
Rafael Torres Lopes

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