England coach Roy Hodgson arrives at the team's hotel in Manaus.
Based in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, with their first match in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, England’s journey to Brazil reads like something out of a colonial tourism advert.
There's manager Roy Hodgson, too, who cuts a jolly 19th-century figure from a distance and would not look out of place in a pith helmet, hands on his hips, binoculars at the ready.
He and the blazers of the old Lancaster Gate could well be pictured aboard a giant steamer, departing Liverpool bound for Manaus, on those "wild jungle" expeditions of years gone by.
Yet perception and reality could not be further apart today. This England team has no pretensions about their place in the world.
For the first time in a long time, perhaps ever, England doesn’t expect. The usual swelling of mob belief that England can do it again is completely absent.
After all, 1966 is almost 50 years ago; even 1996 almost 20 years ago. The Three Lions have barely fired a shot in anger since, and the public – jaded by emotionally-draining exits in Saint-Etienne, Charleroi, Shizuoka, Lisbon, Gelsenkirchen, Bloemfontein and Kiev (none have been beyond a quarter-final) – has adjusted expectations accordingly.
A convoy of England fans have made the journey across the Atlantic, but they come with a mission to soak up the sea and the sun as much as they do for the sport.
Nearly as many journalists have come, bringing their increasingly pessimistic but not-so-poisonous pens. There is an air of acceptance this time. Barring disaster (which can never be discounted), they don’t seem to be out to get Roy, or Stevie G, or anyone else.
England’s pass mark is to get out of a group that contains two heavy hitters in Italy and Uruguay, plus the quartet’s placebo, Costa Rica.
There was trouble brewing as soon as Hodgson opened his mouth before the draw, saying: "The tropical nature of Manaus is the problem. Manaus is the place ideally to avoid and Porto Alegre is the place ideally to get."
Of course, England just had to end up starting in Manaus, against the side that knocked them out of the last Euros, Italy.
Hodgson and the FA have been on a mission of damage limitation since, even unfurling a banner at their training base this week that read: "Obrigado Brasil pela recepcao calorosa" ("Thank you Brazil for your warm welcome").
In spite of their diplomatic hiccups and fading belief, England actually have a decent squad and a real chance of making an dent where it really matters.
The days of Beckham, Ferdinand, Terry, Carragher and Defoe have been wound up, replaced by a youthful, street-smart selection with pace to burn. Granted, Frank Lampard is there, and so is Steven Gerrard, but only the latter will be expected to see much game time.
Much of the discussion on Fleet Street surrounds Raheem Sterling, the turbo-charged teenager who impressed with his electrifying pace in attack for Liverpool last season.
Hodgson originally seemed keener on others, but the weight of public desire to see Sterling’s irresistible flair seems to have had its mark. In the shadows of Sugarloaf Mountain, where England are based, the Liverpool winger has been training as England’s No. 10.
He is likely to be flanked by the nation’s best, Wayne Rooney, and the nation’s most-improved, Adam Lallana, who was in League One when England last played in the World Cup. They’ll tuck in behind Daniel Sturridge, who finally came of age this season.
If most fancy Italy to get through the group stages, that leaves England and Uruguay battling for the other qualification spot.
Although the Amazonian adventure has the headlines for now, there is a feeling of inevitability that arguably English Premier League’s top player will decide who qualifies.
Should Luis Suarez be fit and firing, anything is possible for La Celeste. Their match against England in Sao Paulo seems to have drama written all over it.
Put simply, England must try to survive those two matches and get to their final match, against Costa Rica, relatively unscathed. Do that, and the mother country might finally start to expect.