Backpackermatt's Guestbook

16th August 2018

Amazing Switzerland
I'm glad you had a great place to watch the World Cup. You had some great hiking and the scenery is amazing. Thanks for sharing.
26th July 2018

The Bernese Oberland was our favorite hiking region...
Once I had the goal just like you of hiking from Grindelwald to Montreux, but by taking the ski lifts up and walking down to the next valley, and had a guide book that showed how to do this. Going from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidigg to Wengen and train to Lauterbrunnen was easy. But walking from Gimmelwald and beyond proved to be impossible as many trees had fallen and blocked the way. So your experience has brought back wonderful memories. I look forward to reading your next blog about crossing the most difficult pass.
25th July 2018

Perserverence in your journey-- not to be stopped by trains and wildlife you made your goal. Thanks for taking us along. Nice journey.
31st March 2017

Amazing New Zealand
You hiked some amazing country and your wonderful photos have documented your path. Nice job on the beer surprise! What a treat.
2nd December 2015
Water Colours

Airlie Beach
Thanks for the memory...your photos make me want to stop work and go traveling.
22nd November 2015
Tyre Tube Tranquility

We love tubing. Looks like great fun.
18th November 2015

Traveling Australia
When I read a blog from a location where I have traveled there is always a piece of me that wishes I was there with you. Then you traveled to places I have not been and I wished I had seen that part of the world also. Guess we can't see it all. We would have liked to join you for an IPA. Sorry Linda had to tangle with the van. Glad she could still cook.
7th November 2015
Hanging Around

On the road
Looks like a great trip
7th November 2015

Paradis found
That looks fantastic. Very nice photography
19th October 2015
Afro Van in Bright

Afro Van
Indeed! It's been put through the wringer in the first two weeks of the trip too - but still going strong!
8th October 2015

Some of the best blogs I've found. I read your Swiss, Italian and Turkish trips. I've been to Cappadocia, and next year it's Dalyan and Oludeniz, then Switzerland.
19th October 2015

Glad you liked them! The missus and I are on holidays now so will be more where they came from shortly...
1st June 2015

Bear Sightings
Wow, thank you for the solid advice! I'm feeling much more at ease now as the wildlife was the only thing still making me a bit nervous for the trip. I figured there would be people stopped over to look, but it's relieving hearing it from someone who's actually done the trip - so thanks!! And I can't believe how close you were to that black bear, I'd be a bit freaked out, haha. I found and read your other blog as well and it was also a great read - good for you for cycling there and back on your own, sounds like it was an unbelievable adventure. The grocery bags hanging from the handle bars made me laugh, but I applaud your resourcefulness :P I am looking forward to getting out there and seeing the Canadian Rockies, so thanks again for sharing about your awesome trip - it makes it that much easier for those of us who have yet to do it!
1st June 2015

re: Bear sightings along the road
Sorry, it just occurred to me that you may not have read my follow-up blog from my return trip along the Icefields Parkway, which deals with the more intimate bear encounters that I referred to in my previous comment. It's called 'From Jasper to Lake Louise on Two Wheels and Two Feet'. Also has a couple of nice bear pictures I took from the saddle of my bicycle.
1st June 2015

Bear sightings along the road
Thanks for sharing about your adventure! I'm going to be cycling the Icefields Parkway this summer and am trying to read as many blogs/articles about it as possible to prepare myself. I see you wrote about 2 bear encounters, and I was wondering how you handled those situations? Did you bike past them; did you stop at a distance or try to scare them off before approaching; were they scared by your presence or did they ignore you?
1st June 2015

re: Bear sightings along the road
Hi Merissa! Firstly it is awesome that you are going to be cycling the Icefields Parkway this summer - it was definitely one of the best travel experiences of my life! You will love it!!! As for the bears, I really wouldn't worry about them. For starters, any bears that you do see along the Icefields Parkway itself will almost certainly have attracted a large crowd of spectators by the side of the road. They call it a 'bear-jam', and as soon as you come around a bend and see ten or more cars all parked on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere you will know that there is a bear there somewhere. The only time I had a more 'intimate' encounter with a bear was when I took Highway 94A back from Jasper heading south (it runs parallel to the Icefields Parkway for about 30kms between Jasper and Athabasca Falls, but on the other side of the valley) which is a MUCH quiter road. I first saw a grizzly bear along this road and in the 15 - 20 minutes that I spent watching it from the side of the road only three cars came past and stopped. A short time later I encountered a black bear right beside the road and in the 10 - 15 minutes that I spent observing it I don't recall a single car coming past. This was the only time I was a little worried because at times the bear was literally no more than five metres away from me (I really shouldn't have come so close, but it wasn't a particularly large bear) and could have attacked if it wanted to, but to be honest in this case as in all other bear encounters I had the bear seemed to be way more interested in the berries and leaves that it was snacking on than any humans who might have been around. Unless you plan on going for hikes off the road (which I would definitely recommend as well - but for which you need to be a little more careful and keep your wits about you) I really wouldn't worry about bears at all... there will most likely be at least twenty or thirty other people vying for the bear's attention whenever you see one! Just sit back (at a safe distance), observe, and enjoy!
24th May 2015

your blog about Holland
Dear Matt, I have read your travelblog about your visit to Holland and it was very interesting! I am Dutch myself and for my Geography Masterthesis I am doing research among tourist bloggers from abroad. Your blog caught my eye because you visited some less famous places in Holland, like Zeeland and Friesland. It is so interesting to find out why a part of the tourists in Holland visit those less famous places next to the highlights like Amsterdam and its surroundings. That's why I am wondering if I could ask you some questions about your visit, to complement the info in your blog. It won't be a long survey, but more of a short interview-type conversation about your experience and opinion. You would help me a lot and I am also very curious to know about what you think about Holland and the reasons why you choose to visit it. I really hope to hear from you. The interview will be used in a completely anonymous and confidential way. Kind regards, Theo van Veenendaal
4th July 2014
Pot of gold at the end of a bloody long road

We can spend several happy hours on the beach. Looks great.
21st June 2014

Stunning and spectacular
Nothing better than being on the road and exploring.
10th June 2014
Under Sail

On the Sea
Very cool photo. What a great trip.

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