When Russell and Joan Penniman, a pair of attractive, outdoor Californians, were planning their wedding 18 months ago, they talked about taking a honeymoon trip that would be different from any other they had heard of. "I wanted to do things that other people never even think about," said Joan. "I wanted to live it up." Planning a trip like this was no simple matter, but Russ, a former Navy jet pilot, finally came up with an idea. He suggested they fly his Cessna 180 down through South America and back, stopping anywhere that appealed to them. Joan was all for it. Right after the wedding in Phoenix, Ariz., they climbed into the plane, and for the next seven months, as the pictures on these pages show, the Pennimans did live it up. Altogether they logged some 30,000 flying miles, and many hundreds more by canoe (above), on horseback and on foot. Along the way they danced in Mexican nightclubs (right), collected three pet monkeys, hunted on the plains of Argentina, fished for black marlin off Cabo Blanco and stuffed themselves on exotic foods like broiled armadillo and roast ostrich. For more color photographs of the Pennimans and their honeymoon adventures, see following pages.
Setting off by native dugout canoe on hunting trip tip Agua Azul River in Yucatan, Russell and Joan Penniman scan dense jungle along riverbank for shot at jaguar or javelina.
Night life in Mexico City was one of the first big adventures for Pennimans after leaving U.S.
Jungle life in Yucatan found Joan cooling off during hunting trip by drinking juice of liana vine.
July 21, 1957
Trudging across clearing on jaguar hunt, Pennimans pick way through jungle grass.
Treating Russ's foot, Joan looks for blisters after hunt.
Tower hunting in Argentina, Pennimans await game.
Black buck shot on La√ºsen ranch near Buenos Aires was first big-game trophy of honeymoon for Russ.
Ostriches shot on plane trip around ranch were roasted and eaten. Pennimans found meat delicious.
SKIS AND SKYLARKS
On their trip, the Pennimans landed at no less than 75 places, setting down on any paved airport or muddy jungle strip that promised adventure. As they had hoped, most of the adventures were brand-new. At Acapulco Joan tried her first water skis (left) under Russ's expert direction, and in the Chilean Andes (below) she floundered like any novice on snow skis. At Belém they picked up three pet monkeys. But flying was the biggest new thrill for Joan, who got her license just before the trip and split the flying chores with Russ throughout their entire tour.
Water skiing for first time, Joan takes helping hand from Russ as couple skims by submarine in Acapulco harbor.
Snow skiing in Andes also was new to Joan, who needed lift from Russ.
Pet monkey named Oui Oui perches on Russ's shoulder to watch him as he lights cigaret near end of trip.
Loading plane at remote Brazilian airstrip, Pennimans put their pet monkeys on board for flight to French Guiana.
SAILS AND RAINBOWS
Every time the Pennimans got near a likely-looking stretch of water, they broke out their fishing tackle. Off Panama, Joan, who had been a deep-sea fisherman all her life, went after sailfish with light tackle (right). At Cabo Blanco, they chartered a boat to try for black marlin. Russ had his best luck going after rainbow trout in Peru, hauling in more than 100 pounds in one incredible morning. Each time they landed a big one, the Pennimans sent it to a taxidermist. By trip's end their haul of trophy fish included a kingfish, a sail, two tarpon, two dolphin, rainbows weighing 12 and 15 pounds and a black marlin that scaled 640 pounds.
Battling sailfish on nine-thread line, Joan struggles to hold quarry on light rig. Fish won after 75-minute struggle.
Playing rainbow along bank of Lake Titicaca, Russ attracts somber audience of felt-hatted Indian.
THERE AND BACK
From almost the first to the last day of their 30,000-mile trip, the newlywed Pennimans charged through one sport after another and one misadventure after another, as this map indicates. Through Central America and down the west coast of South America, the Pennimans water-skied, explored old ruins, hunted futilely in canoes for wild pigs, fished successfully for dolphin, marlin and fresh-water trout and skied in the Chilean Andes. Off the beaten track, they found, sporting life among the Latins is give-and-take. They were overcharged by merchants, charged by a surly cow and bedeviled by red tape. They were contrastingly well treated by many sportsmen. In Argentina, rich ranchers—as Joan put it, "10-goal polo players and 11-goal drinkers"—led them on hunts to shoot antelope, deer, ostrich and Indian black buck. The seven months ended with more hunting up the Amazon and more fishing in the Caribbean. Now back home in California, the Pennimans are wondering what continent would be good for a second honeymoon.