‘Gringo, gringo, gringo,’ they chant.
‘Nao gringo. Inglaterra, Inglaterra, Inglaterra,’ we scream back…
But to no avail. Our two ‘Inglaterra’ voices are muted by the non-stop sounds of samba drums, trumpets and horns that pierce the air.
Swaying along the Rua de Blanco at an Amazonian snail’s pace in the midst of more than a million people the only thing more mesmerising than the sounds are the sights.
It’s Notting Hill Carnival x New Year’s Eve x an FA Cup Final x 1,000.
Michael Jackson, Ronaldinho and Super Mario are all out to play today…
Meanwhile not one but more than 20 Spidermen are busy scaling a city centre statue.
A young Brazilian housing an impressively ‘large package’ in a pair of Speedos swings over to us and his budgie (or rather, large bird of prey) smugglers draw a worryingly friendly hand from Sophie.
This is the black and white ball, the biggest ‘bloca’ or street party of Rio de Janeiro’s five-day annual carnival.
It is just one of over 200 blocas taking place across the city during this non-stop dancing and drinking gorge that signals the start of Lent.
Every age, every skin tone, every sexual persuasion, every class seem to come together for this orgy of fun.
Carnival floats filled with yet more folk frolicking in fancy dress punctuate the river of costumed-cariocas that flows along the main street.
On one, suited and booted and grinning from ear to ear, American flag sash draped over his shoulder, Brazil’s answer to Barack Obama bops away.
The black and white theme of the bloca is loosely adhered to by the majority of folk who flaunt French maid, police officer and polka dot outfits.
However, there are still plenty of revellers who stray from convention to add more than a splash of colour to proceedings.
Sophie attracts the attention of several young, bronzed Brazlian men intrigued by the unusual sight of a blonde English rose.
I too attract the attentions of numerous men dressed as women.
A tribe of cavemen mingle next to a troop of butch men dressed as ballerinas wearing tutus.
Youngsters with bunny ears squirt shaving foam into the humid air.
It’s cloudy overhead and everyone is soaked through as the skies sporadically let rip with a shower of rain.
Some don makeshift see-through ponchos bought from one of the hundreds of street sellers that weave their way through the throng.
Most, however, don’t give a damn. Come rain or shine they are just here to have fun.
Smells of corn on the cob, barbecued meats and churros drizzled in cinnamon waft through the air from stalls lining side streets and alley ways.
Beer cans crammed into Ice-filled polystrene boxes are on sale for two reals (80p) a pop.
Toilets are at a premium and the comparatively rare image of men queueing to relieve themselves persuades a good number to dart for the nearest tree, lampost or street corner.
Of course it’s not quite so easy for ‘mulheres’ and so after five hours of dancing and singing Sophie and I manage to squeeze our way through the tightly packed bodies to exit the main drag in search of a toilet.
Fortunately we stumble upon a quaint old cafe seemingly off the beaten path where incredibly no one is waiting.
Moments later we are back on the street where a man with a penis on his nose greets us like long lost friends and we are once again swept back into epicentre of the biggest and best carnival on the planet.