Saturday, March 19, 2011

CANADIANS IN THE TROPICS - TOM AND ANDRE CHOSE RIO AND I WAS THE FORTUNATE TOUR GUIDE - READ SOME OF OUR WORDS HERE

Rio de Janeiro lives in the mind of so many travellers in the World and this is wonderful for my work!!! hahahahaha :) But there are possibilities that you can just have a "plastic" idea of the city, but you can also have the chance to have a MASSIVE EXPERIENCE IN TOWN...So much that you will consider Rio de Janeiro your house!!!

RIO IS NOW IN THE THOUGHTS OF ALL PEOPLE BECAUSE OF BARACK OBAMA'S VISIT - He is here exactly today - saturday, March 19th...Also because of our huge economical growth..and the so expected World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016...

And the good news of all...I will be here!!! :)

I like to give to a traveller the real experience in Rio and a real view of all over the country...Yes...when you come to Rio you will be willing to get to know more places and Brazil has a big MENU VARIETY for all your dreams and wishes, and believe me...I DO MY BEST TO MAKE IT TRUE!!!! :)))




Again, my canadian friends from Windsor - VIVA CANADA!!!!! - Tom and Andre trusted me their time in Rio and I had the pleasant mission to make it possible, and wow we did a lot...we saw places out of the touristy industry, we visit places where the daily like is an attraction itself, we met people...we had much more than tours...we had a real adventure!!!!

Marcone and I welcome our friends in Lapa to go to a live concert of our great singer Maria Rita, we went to Lapa in the best days to enjoy brazilian culture in our bohemian Lapa...it was a busy saturday night!!! Always special to have you in Rio, folks!!!

Lapa is always a fantastic chance for us to watch in a closer way the best of Brazilian Street Art in Rio de Janeiro..these graffite was made by art students from our Public Schools, it is a cool attempt to convince our young ones to make beautiful art instead of horrible and trashy graffites!!! Lapa is the best way for you to get familiar with our people and a fantastic PEOPLE WATCHING opportunity.

Funny street scenes are found in my so famous shortcuts...it is great that you can see how the city lives!!! We never expect to find horses in our urban life!!! But it is possible!!!

A visit in Rio never willl be complete if we do not see this fabulous human work close to the city center...THE SELARON STAIRS are located right in between two traditional BAIRROS of Rio. Santa Tereza and Lapa. Going there is always a great chance for you to see how Rio is outside of famous postcards and touristy places. Selaron is the name of the artists that literally change the HISTORY of these two neighborhoods in Rio that hold, I would say, the soul of Rio!!!
Selaron is a character, it is always better to meet him in a good temper which is not always so common. but he has a good soul and he is a dear friend of mine. His opinions are bombastic, but which artists are not extravagant!!!
Tom and Andre had a great time there and we loved to find lots of tyles from Canada!

Of course Niteroi is part of my tours and always will be!!! Niteroi is the great surprise of a trip to Rio and many places that you will see might be the highlight of your days. We always visit a genuine indigenous tribe, the so called MBOY TE tribe, direct descendent of the Guarani Tribe which is present in many states in our country!!!
NITEROI IS THE CITY WHERE I WAS BORN AND RAISED!!!

Just to keep my tradition, I always meet guests and say good buy to remarkable friends!!! Super special to know that Andre and Tom are canadians because I have Canada so present in my life and heart.
They were so generous that TOM wrote a review for me on TripAdvisor and I am happy to share with all of you his words!!!!
WORDS FROM CANADA: "I don't want you to see me as a tour guide, but as a friend in Rio"
We booked Rafa in the last few minutes before we boarded our place ride from Canada and he helped accommodate us with every step he could. He helped arrange a ride for us from the airport while we were already on the plane heading there. The driver was on time and courteous even though our plane was delayed over an hour.
We were lucky to have been squeezed into his tight schedule on one of the first days we were in Rio and it was by far the best day we had in Brazil. We were picked up early in the day and had a full-day experience. From the get-go, it was as if we had been friends for ages; it was very comforting since we didn't know anyone there (and our Portuguese was terrible... haha). He fluently speaks multiple languages and kept teaching us things to help us for the rest of our week as well as what to do and where to avoid.
He kept telling us to give him feedback about what we were doing and if we liked something we'd stay longer or do more things like it, and if we didn't enjoy it, we'd move on to something else. Though it's hard not to enjoy yourself when you're in his company surrounded by the culture of a place like Rio. He always seemed to manage to find areas that were phenomenal for sightseeing that you'd think would be loaded with tourists, yet we were the only ones there. It made for awesome picture-taking abilities since you could get any angle at any time and never feel crowded or rushed.
He was very well-known with locals in the various places we went to, since he's done this for so long. Because of that, they helped make our experience even more unique than any other guide could've provided for us.
We had gone just after the Favela wars were making the news and he was very eager to talk to and thank various police officers that we passed for their efforts in the battles. He's a very caring guy, and that really helped us to bond with him on a better level than I thought we could with someone we'd just met that day.
Without hesitation I'd recommend Rafa as someone who should be your tour guide if you visit Rio. Even if you've been there, I guarantee you, he'll find new thigs that you probably never even realized were there.
Raf, thanks for an awesome experience. We can't wait to see you again. Who knows, maybe we'll go for the Olympics or World Cup, haha.
Tom/Andre -- Ontario, Canada
RAFA WORDS - Folks, having you so happy while we strolled around in Rio is a simple result of a full passion for my land and the great love I have for all people, and this gave me wonderful friends like you guys!!!
I will always do everything humanly possible to keep our countries always together!!!
Thank you very much and give my kisses to all friends in Windsor!!!! I LOVE ONTARIO!!!!
Yours Faithfully,
Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner

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