In Rio De Janeiro for the Billabong Pro Rio event, our Hawaiian surfer Alessa Quizon was given the event wildcard. Courtney Conlogue and Justine Dupont were also there competing and Rio local and big wave charger Maya Gabeira came out to support the girls, along with Silvana Lima, who is out for the year recovering from a knee injury.
Rio is one of the most beautiful cities in the world: pristine beaches, lovely people, coconut water and acai on every corner. On our day off, Alessa and I went to see the Christ statue while Courtney and Justine went hang gliding. After the event, we headed up to Salvador in northern Brazil, where my husband's family is from. It doesn't have the gorgeous mountains that Rio has, but what it lacks in landscape, it makes up for in culture. The Bahian way of life is slow and relaxed, with music and art unmatched by any other town.