Hundreds of revellers in a mobile block party during this week’s Carnival in Rio de Janeirolaunched a surprise invasion of an airport.
During Brazil’s famous festival these enormous moving street parties, known as blocos, traditionally break out all around the city.
English expat Tom Le Mesurier took part in one of the city’s rowdiest blocos on Monday and wrote about it in his blog.
Mr Le Mesurier said everyone was shocked when the party’s organisers led the mob of 1000 or so Brazilians and tourists to the Santos Dumont Airport.
“It was an amazing moment — many of us had lost our bearings and hadn’t realised we were even close to the airport,” Mr Le Mesurier said.
“Next thing we knew the whole bloco was passing through the revolving doors.
“You could sense the feeling in the crowd — it went from ‘are they going to let us do this?’ to the realisation that ‘there is no way they can stop this many of us!’”
Chanting, dancing and singing, about 700 costumed bloco participants proceeded to ride up and down the airport’s escalators, much to the amusement of the watching airport travellers.
“There were people waiting for flights who were taking photos of us as we danced and sang our way into the airport,” Mr Le Mesurier said.
“There were security guards variously laughing, pretending they had everything under control (the guy at the top of the escalator) and getting angry (as I got to the bottom of the escalator).
“But more than anything, looking at the faces of everyone going up and down the escalator, they’re all waving and smiling like they’re famous!
“It was as if everyone recognised this rare moment of magic and were just celebrating the fact that they were part of it — that’s how I felt anyway.”
The crowd’s fun finally ended when a security guard pressed the emergency stop button on the escalator and ordered everyone out.