Monday, April 5, 2010


Well, she was born in Poland but she lives in San Diego, California for a long time with her husband Alan....they are "walking history books" and I am sure I learnt alot with them. I had the honor to make Rio their home away from home!!!

And she wrote me some words that I am pleased to share with you!!!

Theresa said: Alan and I want to thank you for the wonderful excursion on March 13. It was the highlight of our trip. You and Marconi are very special to us. I loved all the places we visited and since we did not go to Sitio Burle Marx I have a good excuse to return to Rio especially since my visa is good for 5 years! I will never forget the excursion to the swamp and the wonderful shrimp with baked garlic on top. And the ice cream at that lady's house! And of course Grumari Beach was magical, with the incredible sunset. I'm sad that some of my friends who arrived in Rio on March 16 and stayed on the ship until the 17th had two rainy days. Rio and sunshine go together. And I'll never forget the crazy artist, Selaron, what a character he is. By the way, thanks for the lovely tile. Next time I'm in Rio I'll bring Selaron a tile from California.

When visiting Santa Tereza we had to see Selaron's work in his stair, it is start in Santa Tereza and ends in Lapa, he changed the whole stairs in a 19 years work and he helped to put Santa Tereza's name in the World. His work gets together more than 30.000 tiles from all over the Planet. His character really reminds another genious of our World's Art, Salvador Dali.

He is as excentric as his spanish colleague, so it is better to ask first if he is in a good mood or not. But he is part of Rio de Janeiro and Selaron is very grateful to our country to have welcome him when he mostly need, in a time that life in Chile where he is from, was not so easy!

My friend Teresa is a real bon vivant and World's Traveller, talking to her is like a HISTORY CLASS in Harvard. She is sweet and very pleasant and I am proud and honored to provide a very complete tour, teaching her all the secrets of our land! Either in English or Spanish, but if I could choose POLISH to talk to her I would be very well served! :)))))

We had a lovely time at FLORESTA DA TIJUCA!

First thing we did when we met Teresa and Alan in Copacabana was taking this lovely couple to one of our treasures. The Selaron Stairs...He took 19 years and he is still working. Selaron always says that he will just finish his work when he dies! Of course Selaron Stairs is a lively and important part of my tours!

Marcone Lima is a fabulous tour guide, his smile has no size....if we have to measure it we would have to count sand by sand of Copac abana beach. He works with his natural passion for life and people, just like I do...This time our friends had our mutual assistance so you can imagine that our tour was full of happiness! This day was full of places to see, one of them of course was a visit to the Christ, our 7th wonder of the World

In the swamps or in the wetlands of Marapendi we have the great chance to experience what Rio is really like, a cioty where the locals live with great happiness. Marapendi wetlands has 7 islands, people live in five of them and the two other islands are nature reserves that really provide such a nature show!!! Birds and other interesting animals, but much more interesting are the locals and I take my people to feel it and get in touch with our people. BUY A SACOLÉ in such a strong heat is one of the most relaxing thing to do, and Dona Marianita is famous in the ILHA PRIMEIRA. Every one knocks her door for such a delicious natural fruit ice cream.
SACOLÉ is a sort of ice cream very popular in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro. Teresa, our guest and dear friend from San Diego could try it and she still talks about this lovely day!
Tereza and is more than a tour, it is a home feeling.

At the wetlands we take a boat and our boatman Laerte take us to many interesting corners that we got to see very beautiful houses and breathtaking lush green forests. Well, being a tour guide is very important to me, but I am also your friend in Rio and I take my people where real experiences can be found!!!
That was a fantastic tour that I had Marcone with me...Teresa, Alan, Julie and David had the privilege to be assisted by two tour guides, and we had a blast!!! We visit all over the swamps, lots of laughs and lots of fun were guaranteed!
Julie and David, our friends from Arlington (close to Washington DC) kindly agreed to have Teresa and Alan as part of our team...

Marcone and I decided to joined them in just one tour and it was really a splendid idea!

Sure if you don't mind, you can always have more than two couples in our tour, we will have close attention to anybody.
Ohhhh every visit to the wetlands holds a surprise for us...this time we happened to see the Capivaras, a big, I have heard that this is the biggest rodent on Earth and maybe it is true, because the animal is HUGE. Very friendly Capiravas with its family. They can be found in many marshy areas in the country and it is really nice to realize that they can be found in Rio de Janeiro as well.
Acording to Wikipedia, it says: The capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), also known as capibara, chigüire in Venezuela, ronsoco in Peru, chigüiro, and carpincho in Spanish, and capivara in Portuguese, is the largest living rodent in the world. Its closest relatives are agouti, chinchillas, coyphillas, and guinea pigs. Its common name, derived from Kapiÿva in the Guarani language, means "master of the grasses"while its scientific name, hydrochaeris, is Greek for "water hog".

Capybaras have heavy, barrel-shaped bodies and short heads with reddish-brown fur on the upper part of their body that turns yellowish-brown underneath. Adult capybaras may grow to 130 centimetres (4.3 ft) in length, and weigh up to 65 kg (140 lb). The top recorded weight is 105.4 kg (232 lbs). Capybaras have slightly webbed feet, no tail, and 20 teeth.Their back legs are slightly longer than their front legs and their muzzles are blunt with eyes, nostrils, and ears on top of their head. Females are slightly heavier than males. Females: 80 to 145 pounds. Males: 75 to 135 pounds.
And of course I filmed that incredible moment, please have a look on my DONRAFATOURS VIDEO:

This boats are called CHALANAS and it is very spacious for 2, 4, 6, and 8 people, it is a pleasant way to see everything at Marapendi. Is has a system of it is also a complex of different lagoons, so in a certain time the whole region is bathed by the lagoon waters and specially late in the afternoon, the ocean washes everything granting clear water for the people who live there!
Rafael Torres Lopes
Senior Tour Guide and Travel Planner
Marcone Lima
Tour Guide (MINI RAFA) hehehehe : ))))))

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