I loved your write up on the Yosemite HSC trip you took in 2007, that was an incredible amount of work you did to document that so well. We just finished our 2nd trip to the HSC’s and I happened upon your website.
Congratulations on an amazing collection of trips and the write-ups to entertain the rest of us who just wish we could go to all those places!!
Thanks so much for your excellent commentary about Quito, Yachana Lodge, and the Galapagos. I very much enjoyed your writing style. (I'm a retired English teacher.). My recently retired friend and I are taking this trip in a week. My husband and I have been on the other OAT Amazon trip, as well.
Before our trip I wonder if you would have the time to answer a few questions which might make our trip easier. I'm interested to know what small gifts were successful during your trip. I thought the peanut butter sounded like a perfect one, but apparently it didn't go over well. I live in NC so I naturally thought of tins of NC peanuts. Maybe that's not a good idea. I'm also wondering if the Yachana Lodge has a hair dryer to loan and whether the small ship will have one for loan. I'm really hoping to avoid taking one.
I'm also curious to know whether there are cash machines easily available for tip money so that I don't have to carry a great amount of cash. I'm guessing there are two separate groups (Amazon and Galapagos) to tip, right?
I don't want to sound too shallow, but there doesn't seem to be much of an opportunity for shopping. I've read about a good market area in Quito, as well as the best South American market, which is a couple of hours away from Quito in Otavalo. Do you have suggestions as to what you observed regarding shopping?
Finally, I would like to know your opinion about taking my iPad along. Is there any wifi or would it just be a bother?
Sorry this is so long, and please don't feel an obligation to respond if you're off having fun. I just thought I'd take a chance on catching up with you.
Found a link to your travel website through Mehmet's website - owner of the Melrose Hotel in Pamukkale, Turkey. Looks like you two have been having a wonderful time around the world! We recently stayed at the Melrose and had a wonderful visit there with great homecooked food! My husband and I live in Istanbul and are on assignment here for about 18 more months. We've really enjoyed our stay here. Since I'm no longer working, I started a food and travel blog to document our adventures for people back home. If you have time, stop by. My blog: myturkishjoys.blogspot.com/
Dear both of you,
Thanks for your lovely blog. We’ll be traveling to Turkey this Wednesday, Cappadocia and South Aegeo. We travel on our own and all information is well received. We’re a Spanish, retired, married couple for 42 years that, as you both, spend some months every year on the road. This year Rabat, Madeira, Macedonia, central Europe and perhaps Nicaragua.
I just got back from a Hawaii on a cruise; got back on 19 December to our home north of Salt Lake City, Utah. One day we took a rubber skiff along the Napli Coast and saw Kalalau Beach from the ocean, about 200 hundred yards offshore. I really enjoyed Nancy’s video on your 11 mile backpack trip down to Kalalau Beach. Thanks for sharing it on the web.
Bill and Nancy,
A couple of years ago I found your site when trying to plan independent travel in Turkey. We followed your itinerary and found the sights and people just as wonderful as you described.
This year I was looking for a good safari operator and remembered your site. We used Good Earth in Kenya and Zanzibar and then went on to Pongwe in Zanzibar. Both were great. It's been a few years since your trip there so most of the people we mentioned your site to didn't know about it anymore! The Good Earth folks were especially interested and wrote it down to look it up! So thanks very much for your help in planning two very enjoyable trips.
Hello Nancy and Bill,
I just came across your Kalalau trail video. As a two time hiker of the trail, and hoping for a third this fall as a senior, I really appreciate your stamina and pluck. It was a fun watch with terrific narration.
Kalalau is an amazing and mystical place. I never tire of reading or viewing other people's experiences of their hike to the beach. You warmed my heart with the numbers of nude folks on the trail and on the beach, and not taking offense. If there is a place that cries out to just bare yourself in oneness with primeval nature, this is it.
Best wishes, Michael Curry
Dear Bill and Nancy,
Love your web site! I was looking for some detailed info on the High Sierra Loop and found your site. You must take notes every night to remember in such detail. Thanks for sharing! My husband and I live in Pacific Beach and try to travel and hike as often as possible, your stories are quite an inspiration.
Hello Nancy and Bill!
I've been enjoying your blog today. I came across it while researching for my Turkey trip in May. I thought I had my intinerary figured out (with just a few struggles about what to do with our time on the coast) but your blog has me even more confused! If you have a moment and would entertain my travel confusion, I planned on spending a night in Selcuk after 3 days in Istanbul, then head to either Dalyan or Fethiye for about 1.5 days, make our way east toward Antalya, and then take a night bus for 3 days in Cappadocia. I wish we had 4 weeks but we only have 12 full days - you got all of the quiet moments in that I fear we might miss if we're so busy travelling. Also, I'm from Oregon and do quite a bit of hiking but I don't think I'm in as good a shape as you folks! In terms of don't miss experiences, I was thinking (after reading your blog) about changing plans to go to Parmulkke after Selcuk (or however you spell it) and try to stay at that lovely hotel where they would hopefully take us to Aphrodiasis the next day. Then down to Fethiye and maybe rent a car to check out the little ruins along with way to Antalya. Is Cirali a don't miss? Otherwise I could cut down on the driving and just get the night bus out of Fethiye after a day or two of exploring. My real question is coming: can I cut Cappadocia down to 2 days? It looks interesting but perhaps a little repetitive? Thanks in advance if you have any thoughts for a stranger in Oregon. Hope you're enjoying our almost-spring. The sun just finally came out in Eugene today!
Thank you very much for your travel diary! Í´m just preparing our next tour in turkey, and found your link at Pamukkale´s Melrose Hotel. How I love to read your diary and see your brilliant photos! We will start in 2 weeks from Antalya with a rented car for 4 weeks. Our first tour in Turkey was in 2008, and it´s really a pity that we couldn´t meet you. i´m sure we could be friends! My husband and I are married 46 years, and we share the same love for nature and history, nice friendly people and simple pensions. Anyway, we´ll think of you in Göreme and Selcuk. Hoping you and Bill are still fit and in the mood for adventure tours, I send kindest regards from Germany to USA
A couple of years ago I found your site when trying to plan independent travel in Turkey. We followed your itinerary and found the sights and people just as wonderful as you described. This year I was looking for a good safari operator and remembered your site. We used Good Earth in Kenya and Zanzibar and then went on to Pongwe in Zanzibar. Both were great. It's been a few years since your trip there so most of the people we mentioned your site to didn't know about it anymore! The Good Earth folks were especially interested and wrote it down to look it up!
So thanks very much for your help in planning two very enjoyable trips.
Dear Bill and Nancy,
Love your web site! I was looking for some detailed info on the High Sierra Loop and found your site. You must take notes every night to remember in such detail.
Thanks for sharing! My husband and I live inand try to travel and hike as often as possible, your stories are quite an inspiration.
Dear Nancy and Bill.
Firstly hello from Turkey...I watched your video - http://travelswithbillandnancy.com/video_Turkey.htm And I really wanted to congratulation you for such a nice video and thank for this great sharing.
Şeyma Deniz Gökhan
We are a couple based in Cape Town, South Africa who also love to travel. I also rely heavily on the internet and I just want to thank you for your brilliant blog. We are travelling to Turkey in September and I have loved reading about your travels there. It doesnít look as if you have been to South Africa yet! Let me know when you plan to be here so I can give you some insider tips! Itís an awesome country especially as you love hiking.
Judy van Aswegen
Hi, Bill and Nancy,
I just had to write to tell you I discovered quite by accident your travel blogs. I was researching Turkey and up you popped. I enjoyed reading your itinerary with excellent description and historical notes. It was interesting to hear about your accommodations and food since those are things I've been thinking about. We, too, are retired but in our second half of sixties, and have enjoyed travel bed and breakfast style through a good part of Europe. We took a tour to China and I was perusing tour packages for Turkey. However, I find it extremely depressing to read about the designated, ugly 5* hotels described on Tripadvisor. Also, of course, we're not into hoards of people visiting sites together. Food seemed not to get good reviews either. Now, accommodation and food and people met in such places have always been a big part of our trips. I guess you'd wonder why I'd even consider a tour...but, until I read your travelogue, I felt Turkey might be too confusing getting from point A to B on our own. I assume many of your day tours were arranged in your hotels. I do imagine you had reserved your hotels ahead of time, though. Did you ever suffer from tummy ailments from the food? You seemed to be adventurous and eat anywhere. So, thank you for giving me food for thought. Maybe we'll be brave (for us) in late March and take a two week holiday in Turkey.
Delta, B.C. Canada
I discovered your website as I was researching the High Sierra Camps in Yosemite. My wife and I were lucky enough to be drawn this year after several years of being denied. We are going on a five day hike on our own but Vogelsang to Toulumne . I requested a ranger led hike, but was not drawn. It sounded as if you had a great time with your ranger. . . We really enjoy your web site. We've been on many of the same trips as you in North America and it brings back good memories of the places we've been. We particularly liked the Maritime Province trip you took. We did ours in reverse again: Bar Harbour to Nova Scotia to PEI and back to Bangor.
Dear Bill and Nancy:
I just spent 45 minutes looking at your Yosemite trip and felt compelled to write you and thank you for the great web page you put together. We are going on the same 6 day trip on July 2 2009, so I was surfing the net and found your site. It was extremely informative and to my surprise actually inspirational. I have gone from sketchy to ready to hit the trail due to the site. We have been in training for 2.5 months now, and just completed and strenuous hike, harder than any on the coming trip to test our skills, and we are ready, but I was not ready internally, now I am. Just a note to say thanks and bless you for the wonderful presentation. Just what I needed.
First of all I want to thank you for your web page which provides a wealth of information to travelers around the world, myself included. I especially liked your page describing your safari and kilimanjaro trek, it sounds like you had a blast. . .
You and your husband are my new idols and I can only hope that my fiance and I will be fortunate enough to travel and see the world as you both have! Thanks for your website, we thoroughly enjoy it!
Dedham Middle School
My wife and I will start down the Kalalau Trail two weeks from today, and you guys are our heroes! We're only a couple of years younger and we hope to make it there and back as an overnight trip as successfully as you guys did. Without the slip down the side of the hill of course. . .
Excellent video, by the way, and we're way jealous of your early retirement and ability to travel extensively. Ralph
Stumbled upon your site from reading Frommer's message board and loved it. What a wealth of info. I am planning a trip for me & my husband to Turkey this fall. We are in our 50's -- have traveled abroad extensively, but never to Turkey. Since my husband still works, he will only be gone around 10 days. I would love your thoughts on making reservations independently rather than through a tour operator -- as well as traveling between cities without a guide. Any other info you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Bill and Nancy
What a wonderful website you have - your journal, complete with photos, is fantastic! Now all I have to do is convince my husband, it won't be hard, to visit Turkey. I've always wanted to travel there and after reading your journal I can't wait to go. I'd always imagined that we would need to do a package tour, but the information in your journal has convinced me we could do it on our own. It appears we are of a similar age as both of you, so I am very encouraged to use your itinerary and go!! You've taken all the work out of planning a holiday and I thank you both so much. My husband and I live in Canberra, the capital of Australia. My husband will be 62 in November and I am turning 60 in June. Happy travels.
Nancy and Bill,
I just want to let you know how much I have enjoyed your journals. I have been reading them diligently for the last year, knowing that retirement was just around the corner. I hope that I can eventually meet a network of people that would allow me more independence in traveling, but right now small group travel is my best resource. Sooooooo, officially retiring in May I'm off to Turkey mostly because I so enjoyed your descriptions and pictures. I also want to visit Laos, Cambodia and Hmong villages. I have taught many of these children and admire how they are very proud of their heritage. Although I have not traveled extensively outside of the states ( I love traveling right here too!) I did go to Mongolia in 2006. Absolutely a wonderful experience but I'm sure it will be very touristy very soon. I went with Eldertreks and there were 11 of us in our group. That allowed us to make many choices about our itinerary. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you two are my travel inspiration.
My name is Svetlana Plotnikow. I´m 33 and my husband and I are going to take our first honeymoon (10 year anniversary with 2 kids...), and we are going to Turkey. Today I´ve read your journal for the first time and I already think of you as my friends. I laugh about Bill character and I like very much your way. I´ve been planning this trip for about 3 months and we (really I, my husband is terrified) decided to do it on our own, only booking day tours in Capadocia and one three day tour to Nemrut Dag. People in my Country say that we are crazy because of the language barriers, but I think that it could be more interesting this way (I really hate tours and "all planned by others" things). We are going to spend 2 days in Istanbul, then flying to Capadocia and staying 3 days, then taking the Nemrut Dag tour, then flying to Izmir and renting a car to spend 2 days in Ephesus, and then flying back to Istanbul to spend 3 final days. It sounds a little bit crazy but I think we will make it, and enjoy it very much, like you did. It would be nice to hear any suggestions from you. Thank you very much for sharing your feelings and memories with the world.
Svetlana from Venezuela
I just want to tell you how much I am enjoying reading your Turkey journal and looking at the pictures. Our itinerary this June and July is almost the same as yours except in reverse. My husband and I are taking our three children, ages 11, 14 and 19 for 4 weeks. We did it starting in Ankara just so we could take the kids to the Museum of Anatolian Civilization first to give them (and myself) a framework for what they'd be seeing. We aren't going to Antalya, and are doing a 4 day gulet cruise from Olympos to Fethiye. Otherwise we're pretty close...Your trip looks like it follows Rick Steve's itinerary. I'm going to go back now and finish your trip!
Dear Nancy and Bill,
I just want to let you know how much I've enjoyed reading your Turkey travel blog. I've already planned a trip to Turkey, but when I read about your adventures, particularly the balloon ride, I extended my trip so I can follow in your footsteps. Alas, my work doesn't allow me to be gone for too long, so I'd have to be contended with 11 days in Turkey (Istanbul-Ephesus-Pammukale-Cappadocia). I leave April 10, right about the time you were in Turkey last year.
Thank you and bon voyage!
I thought I'd let you know that I've just finished an enjoyable "journey" via your travel journal! I've bookmarked your travel website so I can visit again. We have only been home about 6 weeks and already I am thinking about our next trip.... Since our daughter is getting married in the fall we do not plan to travel this year, but are planning two trips in 2009, one to Brazil in the spring, and a Panama Canal cruise in the fall. We have never been on a cruise before but my dad, who will be turning 90, wants to go through the Canal. I have heard from a few friends who cruise a lot that this particular cruise is pretty spectacular, and the plan is for a number of family members to go on the cruise together. There are so many wonderful places in the world to see, and it is nice to travel along with others, as I have been able to do while reading your journal notes!
Hi Nancy & Bill,
Thank you for your incredible travel journal on Turkey. My husband and I also love to travel and we are trying to plan a trip to Turkey in May, 2008. Like you, we travel on our own and often wing our trips while on the road, with the assistance of the internet, travel guides and people we meet along the way. Often times we rent a car, which makes it convenient to pick up and move on at a moments notice. We are a bit hesitant to do that in Turkey as I am reading about the safety issues. I noticed that you used buses and wondered if you considered driving if you went back again. Which would you recommend, having taken the buses? Did you arrange all of your tours and hotels from Istanbul prior to setting out on your travels? Do you have a tour company or person you could recommend to help facilitate that? I notice also that you did quite a bit of hiking. While we both enjoy hiking, I'm afraid our level of physical activity is not up to yours! Two years ago we were in Greece and experienced the Samarian Gorge in Crete. It was quite steep and treacherous so we are a bit weary of similar experiences. How difficult would you rate your hiking experiences in Turkey? Are there any areas that you would recommend steering away from because of the difficulty? (We live in Florida and are used to flat terrain!) We will have about 3 weeks to explore Turkey. Any recommendations you can make will be greatly appreciated. By the way - if you haven't been to Greece, we highly recommend it. Be sure to get to the Pelopponese area if you go. The ancient ruins there were fabulous. I haven't read your China and Thailand journals yet, but those are two trips we intend to take in the next few years. Which did you like best? Can't wait to keep reading your journals. Your pictures are terrific as well.
WOW. I am so fascinated by your travels. My Fiance and I are leaving for Turkey on Sept 19th for 2 weeks. I can hardly wait after reading about your travels. We are going to try and stay in some of the places you stayed in.
Thank you for your lovely insight.
Justine from Toronto
Hello Nancy & Bill-
Love the website! Great photos! My husband and I are in the process of planning a trip to either Thailand or Borneo for about a 10-14 day duration in July. . . Thank you and good luck on your future adventures!
Steph & Ben Magras
I enjoyed finding and reading your travel blog about your trip to the Czech Republic. I am in the midst of planning a trip there for myself, my husband and our 20- year old daughter for this June. I am thinking about reserving a triple room at the Mysi Dira Pension where you mentioned you stayed in Cesky Krumlov. I usually like to see several reviews from people who have stayed there, but the only one I've found so far is your mention of it on your site. It sounded like you enjoyed staying there. . .
I just finished ready your Borneo trip log & it was very timely. We just received a flyer from Smartours regarding the same trip. . .My husband is very anxious to go. He feels that it is an adventure, a once-in-a lifetime trip. We are both retired, he for many years & me just recently, and hopefully will be able to do more travelling now. . .
We have just finished reading your travel journal on Borneo with Smartours. I feel lucky to have found it, as we are seriously considering this trip. Actually, you've written so descriptively that I feel as if I know you already! We are also retired, married 38 years and travel whenever we can, which is two or three times a year. We travel mostly with Overseas Adventure Travel, and have been on all 7 continents....(and proud of it!). It sounds as if we would make happy travel companions. Smartours was recommended to us by some women on our OAT Japan trip. . .
Nice to meet you,
Marilyn and Paul Schlansky Stormville, NY