Award-Winning Travel Clips Yvonne Horn  
Travel Writer Yvonne Horn
Award-Winning Travel Clips Yvonne Horn Meet Yvonne Horn

resented below are opening paragraphs of some of Yvonne’s award winning articles. More award winners can be found on the Specialties page. To read any in their entirety, or to inquire about rates and reprint rights, please contact Yvonne by e-mail at Unless otherwise noted, all photos accompanying the snippets were shot by Yvonne.

Bronze, SATW Western Chapter
Writing Awards
"Roaming the Cotswolds"


Oh, how I've always wanted to tread the entirety of the Cotswold Way, picturing in my mind its 100-mile route gently laid over hill and dale, meandering through villages so storybook that they need to be touched to be believed.

Through the years, I've walked a number of England's long-distance trails, covering every inch of them from official start to official finish so as to satisfy my every-step-of-the-way sense of an odyssey accomplished. On each, I was able to inveigle a companion or two to buy into the adventure. Puzzling - none were willing to pull on their boots and march off with me more than once. With the Cotswold Way, it appeared I'd run out of candidates ..........



Gold, SATW Western Chapter
Writing Awards
"Ti and History"

San Francisco Chronicle

Patsy Fong is sorting ti leaves, hundreds of glossy green leaves piled according to size and quality. She works quickly, seemingly without thought, while carrying on conversations with those arriving at the open-air pavilion of the garden’s visitor center for a lei-making class. Clearly she has done this before. Important plant, the ti, sacred to Laka, goddess of the hula. One hundred ti leaves add up to a hula skirt. Wrapped in a piece of cloth it will last for years, aging to the rich brown of those pictured in old Hawaii drawings.

Just one piece of plant-lore information among much more learned on a visit to Senator Fong’s Plantation and Garden .............

Silver, Lowell Thomas Writing Award, Newspaper Foreign Travel
“Spanish Wineries' Star Power"

San Francisco Chronicle

“Underwear,” Javier explains as he hands me a teeny something.

 Javier discretely removes himself while I disrobe and study the “underwear.” Is it this string that goes in front, or is it the slightly wider string thing? Deciding on a fifty-fifty chance that I have it right, I slip into a foaming tub that wafts red wine in its bubbles and steam.  I steep. Bliss in Rioja.  

 How times are changing, and quickly so, in this the most tradition bound of Spain’s wine regions. It seems but yesterday that the only reason to strip off one’s clothes and jump into a vat was to stomp Rioja grapes, not to wallow in a wine-flavored bath, or be slathered in a mixture of grape-seed oil and brown sugar, or massaged with tempranillo grapes fresh off the vine at the latest venue of an ultra-luxurious French spa chain. Or to ogle the architecture that has sent the staid Rioja region reeling ...........     

Gold SATW Western Chapter Writing Awards
“Koke-dera: Kyoto's garden muffled in moss”
 San Francisco Chronicle
Moss gone amok was not intended to be the garden's definitive element when Muso Soseik, a 14th century Zenpriest and famed garden designer, created the gardens surrounding Saiho-ji temple.

That would come centuries later, muffling a design rare and original for its time— a garden intended to be enjoyed for its idealized earthly beauty, not as a religious exercise......


Gold, SATW Western Chapter
Writing Awards “Learning to Speak Spanish in Oaxaca”

The girls were giggling as they approached the green, wrought iron bench from which I was watching the goings-on in the zócalo, Oaxaca’s leafy and lively central plaza. One, emboldened by the others, stepped forward to ask, after referring to a sheet of paper in her hand, “Do you speak English?” “Si,” I responded, sending the girls into a fresh set of giggles. “May we ask you some questions?”

“Si, pero por que?” (Yes, but why?) I relentlessly continued in Spanish, jumping at the chance to practice my fledgling Español, for, after all, that was my reason for being in Oaxaca. With that, a woman accompanying the children offered an explanation. A school assignment had brought the youngsters to the zócalo that afternoon to find a likely looking English-speaking candidate with whom they might practice their fledgling language skills. With that, we were all in giggles......


Gold, SATW Western Chapter
Writing Awards
“Christmas in Provence”

The mistral in summer is an irritant, turning normally congenial souls cranky until its three, or multiples of three, days of bluster blow over. The mistral in winter cuts to the bone, making its way through double layers of mittens, wooly hats, and scarves pulled up over the nose. So it was in Aix-en-Provence during the first week of December. Knifing gusts careened through the city’s labyrinth of streets. Along cours Mirabeau – Aix’s legendary avenue of tree-shaded, warm-weather pavement cafés—icy whirlwinds piled dried leaves against the aristocratic steps of 17th and 18th-century hotels particuliers......

Gold, SATW Western Chapter
Writing Awards
“Trekking with the Silence of the Ages on the Alpine Salt Route to Italy”

Los Angeles Times
“Ptui!” Like naughty children we are trying to outdo each other in long-distance olive-pit spitting. “Ptui!” Clearing the ancient stone wall that defines the circumference of the tiny perched village of Piene-Haute, sailing down over rocky outcropping we hope, if the aim is exquisite, to hit the meandering ribbon of the Roya River far, far below. “Ptui!”

The three of us—myself, my grown daughter, Jennifer, and Katie, Jennifer’s friend since childhood—are of an age to have long ago abandoned such sport. We are on a weeklong trek through a small corner of southeastern France, walking the 16th century Salt Route along pathways trod by mule caravans transporting salt from the Mediterranean into northwestern Italy’s Piedmont region. It is an area of breathtaking beauty, culturally rich, riddled with perched villages......


Gold, SATW Western Chapter
Writing Awards
“Archipelago of Old”

Arizona Daily Star

The thought occurred that this might not be smart, seated alone in a Zodiac on an unnamed river deep in the jungle of an unnamed island off the coast of Burma.

Elephants, rhinoceroses and tigers, pythons, cobras and deadly kraits—oh my! And me the sitting duck, a tasty morsel, my screams muffled in walls of dense greenery. Imagination run rampant, heart pounding in tempo—Wait for me!

We were a group of eight—10 counting Wanderlust’s skipper Carl and Adam the owner/dive master of the trimarin Wanderlust that awaited our return in the blue-green waters of the Andaman Sea. We had puttered off to explore a river that cut deep into this unnamed island, one of an uncounted fling—some say 4,000—that make up the Mergui Archipelago......


Phileas Fogg Award for Best Capturing
the Spirit of Hawaii
“Jumping Fleas”

Sam Kamaka is showing me the original pineapple ukulele. It’s oval shaped, not the usual nipped-in-the-middle model. His father, Samuel K. Kamaka, designed this one around 1916, he tells me, and when it was finished, a neighbor with an artistic bent exclaimed, “It looks like a pineapple”! Sam turns the pegs so the strings on the original pineapple are tuned to “My dog has fleas.” I ask for a song, mentally settling back for a rendition of “Aloha Oe.” Instead, “Little Brown Jug” comes as a bit of a jolt......

Gold, Lowell Thomas Award
“Walking with Wainwright”


There was a wide sweep of fells yet to be crossed, undulating upland, bare and inhospitable. “Confusing territory,” admitted our guide as we turned our Landranger map upside down to conform to direction and held yet another opinionated discussion as to whether or not we should have taken that other path way back there.

Some help, this guide. Once again he’d abandoned us to scramble about in the mists on our own: “The compass points us that way.”

“That can’t be right. Listen to what Wainwright says.”

To be fair, Alfred (A.W.) Wainwright, our guide, was dead, departed several years ago at the age of 84, leaving behind some 50 books on the subject of walking. His Coast to Coast Walk had captured our imagination. What could be more glorious, more satisfying, than to cross England on foot?......


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