This Place is Swell: The Billabong Girls in Rio

Billabong women's surf team manager Megan Villa shares snaps from her trip south for the Billabong Pro Rio event.

Escape // Megan Villa // 06/01/12
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By Megan Villa

Alessa Quizon, the Billabong Rio Pro wildcard going out for an afternoon freesurf in Barra De Tijuca.

By Megan Villa

Aproador where the contest was held on the first day. One of the most beautiful backdrops in the world-you are staring straight at a favela right under those two huge rocks-the irony abounds in Brazil.

By Megan Villa

Rio has some amazing graffiti, everywhere you go there is art.

By Megan Villa

Aproador sunset

By Megan Villa

Boardroom at local surf shop in Recreio just outside of Rio.

Corcovado, Christ The Redeemer- a must see when in Rio, the views are amazing.

By Megan Villa

My husband Homero, a Brazillian from Bahia at Aproador.

By Megan Villa

Courtney Conlogue who finished 5th at the event a Brazilian big wave charger Maya Gabeira.

By Megan Villa

Alessa Quizon, all smiles after a semifinal finish in the event.

Laundry day in Bahia

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.



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