Monday, June 8, 2009

A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AND I WAS THE CAKE!!!!!!!



She took care of everything...in the last minute I got an email from Amsderdam from Janet, she explained me that she would love to give to her boyfriend a TOUR IN RIO as a birthday gift, and she wanted something special!!!
They are very well travelled people and the challenge was making such a unique tour...
So I decided to put one week in one day in JUST ONE DAY IN RIO!!!!!
And this is the first time in my career that I felt like a birthday cake!!! hahahaha :)
When I finally met Janet and Kees in Copacabana, we went to a coffe place at Souza Lima Street, a very nice and pleasant café close to the beach called APETITE...
Then I met the "victym"...Kees who explained me that he would love to see many different things away from the touristic places and he told me that he was very happy for such a present!!!!
Well unique, unusual and absolutely local attractions are my specialty...so they decided to trust me, and we had a great day!!!
The weather was not in the mood to give us a proper sunny day tour...but Heavens was very generous and sent us the sun right the time when we get to the Christ!!!
We got there by car as usual, much better than taking the train...too slow and way more expensive, and we could see the whole city from the Top and we made incredible images just like this one that you can see in this article; then after so many stories of Rio, I even met my cousin who was taking his grandpa to see a place that he has not gone for ages!!!
Then we followed the forest of Tijuca to reach a very special place...a gated community which is part of my secrets...it is a unique corner where you can come across with a rough sea beating the impressive rocks, for the moment, this place is not written in travel books and I am really sad that after so much writing about this wonderful spot, someone will publish that it is one of the most fantastic places in the city if you really want to know local places!!! The security guards know me and they let me in all the time I take my guests there, so my DUTCH FRIENDS could see one of the most hidden beaches in our Coast, the Joá Beach.
My tours are full of RAFA'S SECRETS so we continued heading west and we finally got to the Marapendi wetlands! A place that you can see a different style of living in Rio and you can really experience lots of wildlife!!!! Impressive views, lots of wild birds and beautiful houses in the mangrove forests, some places we can see real jungles, and we had the great happiness to see the very rare spoonbills, these pink birds that many people think they are flamingoes but they are not!!!
We stopped for a STOMACH DECEIVING in the only one eating place, BAR DO CICERO, and we had typical brazilian snacks. Then I got to know my two great guests which today they are more than guests, they are my good friends from Holland!
We had to continue, the total birthday tour was not complete yet, so we went south and made a quick stop in our downtown, I should show them where everything in Rio started so I took Janet and Kees to see our baroc churches of Candelaria an d the very old church of São Bento which is a famous Monastery in the country. And we also visited our glorious cultural center CCBB - CENTRO CULTURAL BANCO DO BRASIL, where all the population has free access to theatre, cinema and important international exibihitions for cheap prices or sometimes for free, and we also visited the CASA FRANÇA BRASIL, another very old building which was part of a french fort built in Rio when the city was just a small colony of Portugal!
But I still could not show them the LA CREME DE LA CREME...We crossed the Bay through the Bridge Rio-Niteroi, from there the city skyline is simply divine and we found out another different city, full of incredible views for you to realize that Rio is indeed one of the funniest trip you can have!!!
In Niteroi we stopped at Litoranea Waterfront to see the whole city of Rio from a different perspective and we also visited the CONTEMPORARY MUSEUM which location is simply breathtaking, then we continued driving in the city passing through Icarai beach and we took the "MONTECARLO" road to reach the interesting district of São Francisco, there we went to a hill called Viração, in a city park called Parque da Cidade, and then they realized that I am very serious when I say: YOU CANNOT SAY THAT YOU HAVE BEEN TO RIO UNTIL YOU VISIT NITEROI!!!!
We had lots of fun and we ended our tour in our LATE LUNCH at A Mineira...one of the most complete brazilian restaurant.
Just like always...they look for a guide and they find a friend, and I meet guests and they become my family!!!
And they are Janet and Kees are great members of my huge INTERNATIONAL FAMILY!!!
IK BIN LEKKER BLY TO HAVE YOU IN MY BOOK OF GREAT TOUR STORIES IN RIO DE JANEIRO!!!!
They will go to the Iguazu Falls, the Pantanal and if I am not mistaken, Salvador in Bahia!!!
LET BRAZIL BE THEIR HOME OUTSIDE HOLLAND, but I do hope they can see Rio as the most complete stop ever!!!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR FRIENDSHIP AND TRUST!!!!
All dutch people are welcome to see the real face of my land!!! I will be honored to have all of you here!!!
LOTS OF LOVE,
Rafa





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