Singing in the Rio carnival rain…

‘Gringo, gringo, gringo,’ they chant.

‘Nao gringo. Inglaterra, Inglaterra, Inglaterra,’ we scream back…

Black and white and red all over… Carnival Rio style

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…

Youa knowa wherea I finda my frienda Luigi?


Your teeth are nearly as bad as Phil’s

Go Spideees!

Meanwhile not one but more than 20 Spidermen are busy scaling a city centre statue.

I’m not used to one this small!

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.

Err where’s the camera?… I can’t see anything

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.

Look it’s hard to smile when you are eating alright?

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.

Dicing digits…

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.

Spot the Sophie!

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.

‘All the honeys makin’ money…’ Destiny’s Child finds its new member

A tribe of cavemen mingle next to a troop of butch men dressed as ballerinas wearing tutus.

Me cave man, me find white meat

‘Who’s stolen my ears?’

Youngsters with bunny ears squirt shaving foam into the humid air.

I’d recommend a Gillette Mac 3 Turbo for a finer shave madame

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.

No, honestly I think it suits you

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.

Hey cavemen, get with the game. This is how we hunt in the 21st century

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.

What a cock!


About travellingtoothbrushes

We are a couple of journalists with restless toothbrushes. Our teeth scrubbers seem unable to leap out of their respective washbags to take up a permanent residency on the bathroom shelf. So, we've decided to let them live the way they want to and take them on a trip around South America...
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5 Responses to Singing in the Rio carnival rain…

  1. Tony Collins says:

    Good to see you’re both having a great time, but obviously envious that I’m stuck here! Great blog. Tony

  2. Les and Ian says:

    Glad to see you still seem to have your camera! Other than that words fail us all. (Ian, Lesley, Linda and Alan (Model Railway). Seriously though – you seem to be enjoying yourselves and making us feel very envious and aged. I suppose it is fairly redundant to say have a pina colada or two for us.

  3. Cousin Kate says:

    The prospect of another parents evening tomorrow night seems even less appealing now.
    Glad you are having a good time and very entertaining photos and captions (I may use some for my literacy lessons!) We’ll miss you at Dad’s Birthday next month – keep enjoying yourselves x

    • ‘Mummy, I learned the phrase ‘what a cock’ today’…

      Yes you should definitely use this blog as a teaching aid!

      It’s a real shame that we’re missing Uncle David’s birthday. Although frankly I blame him.

      You’d have that a man with a double first in physics would by now have invented some kind of Star Trek style machine that could beam us instantaneously from one place to another.

      Rest assured we’ll have a Caiprinha (sugar cane based cocktail – mmm) on him and everyone else.

      Really great to hear from you Kate,

      Lots of love to you, Rick and the gals xx

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