Author Archives: Diane Penwill

Not home for the holidays

LISBON — It was the beginning of Christmas week, and I was alone in Lisbon. I had come to the Portuguese capital to avoid looking at the same lights and living rooms as the year before. I hadn’t chosen Lisbon because of the weather, but the rain became an intrinsic part of the experience. The showers were warm, gentle, silky, ethereal — I found myself gliding through them, like a canoe on a rainy lake where sky, skin and water merge. By the time Christmas was over, I had memorized the Portuguese … Read more

Grand tour on a bicycle built for two

Perfect portrait of the rural past Quaint pubs dot quiet backroads. A Big Mac is unknown in a country pub where one old farmer comments, “I don’t think my dog would like it.”  BALLYDEHOB, IRELAND – The farmer, leaning hard on his worn cane, a tweed cap shadowing his brow and an oversized wool jacket … Read more

Spending time on the road at Christmas

Holiday season in Honduras means fireworks and Fanta. Article appeared in the Toronto Star LA ENTRADA, HONDURAS – “Feliz Navidad!” cried the 5-year-old girl in the white party dress, cackling with delight each time a firecracker went off. “Buena, muchacha!” her parents praised her as they handed her another firecracker, beaming proudly. We arrived in … Read more

Unexpected hospitality on Patagonian Route 66

My friend and I hadn’t seen a person, restaurante, bar, fruit stand, farm, or even a tree for 100 km. No jeering-cheering locals packed 10 to a pick-up truck for company here. No weeds, no insects, only dust devils. The birds flew so high they were barely visible; they had no reason to stop. The … Read more