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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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  • Reviewed March 2019
    Ronald McAulay

    Fascinating country and a marvellous holiday

    This is the fourth Exodus cycling holiday I have been on and in true Exodus fashion it turned out to be a great experience. There is no doubt that cycling is the way to see a country and to meet the people. You get to places where cars and buses can’t reach. India is a fascinating country with wonderful views and people, a very complex culture and lots of interesting things to see. This trip is a fairly new addition to the Exodus range and it is still bedding in in terms of the itinerary. There were a few sensible changes made as we progressed e.g. an optional cycle ride of an additional 70kms one day would have messed up the plans for all if anyone had decided they wanted to do it. The guide Joseph and his support team were excellent, making sure that all were coping with the cycling some of which was reasonably challenging but within the group’s capability. The group itself was made up of a great bunch of people with a marvellous sense of humour making the trip very enjoyable. I hope to meet many of them again....possibly on the next cycling trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed the whole trip. If I had to pick a moment, it might be the visit to the local school where the kids and teachers put on a show for us. The kids and teachers were just wonderful and made us so welcome. They were so friendly and the kids behaved just like most kids across the world - wild and loud and desperate to be in a selfie!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Joseph was supported by three support staff: Rindou, Manish and Sadish (not sure about the spelling). These guys were all great and were happy to help and support us at all points over the trip. It was fascinating hearing about their home lives and what it was like to live in India. Joseph made sure that no one ever felt under pressure to complete a section of cycling and he steered us to many different places where we enjoyed lovely food.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect to see India as it really is on this trip. The route takes you through villages and towns and cities. You will see poverty, chaotic traffic, lots of waste in the form of plastic and a population that is rising in numbers too fast. But you will also see beautiful countryside, stunning views and people that are so friendly and genuinely interested in meeting you. I often wonder if cyclists travelling through the UK would get the same welcome. Every time we stopped in a village we were surrounded by a crowd of locals who were really interested in meeting us and talking to us. As we rode along, scooter riders would come alongside and start a conversation with you. At no time did I ever feel as if we were ever in any risk. People were so friendly. Great fun.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus seem to have the balance right. The trip is always well organised and the range of hotels makes it a different experience each time. Most hotels were lovely and the home stays were very good. However, on this trip, there was one hotel that was very good in terms of facilities and cleanliness but lacked something in terms of staff attention. We were in this hotel for two nights and the breakfasts fell short of what we would have expected.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Robin GATENBY

    Mysore to Goa cycle

    This was our first trip with Exodus (ie my wife and I) and to India. The description on the website looked very interesting, although my wife was a bit anxious about the amount of cycling. The trip turned out to be every bit as stimulating and exciting as described and it was the holiday of a lifetime for us. It was well organised with excellent guides and drivers. The accommodation was varied and unique and the food generally very good. In all we were well looked after and the group got on well. The follow up vehicle was always there when my wife needed to rest or shorten the distance. The route was great, very stimulating sights of rural life and busy small towns with an insight into genuine rural India. We saw wonderful palaces and temples and of course Hampi was magnificent. We stopped at a primary school where the pupils and teachers danced for us which was quite moving.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The stop at the rural primary school where the pupils and teachers danced for us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was very good; clear in his descriptions of the day's activities and experienced and caring. Polite and diplomatic!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We recommend this trip as it gives you a real view of rural India and it's history. The cycling is easy for experienced cyclists but tough for inexperienced but you can hop into the support vehicle and view the sights and chat to the driver. The traffic although scary at first sight is really not too bad.The guides usher you through the towns. The food was safe and the climate was dry with hot afternoons and cool evenings getting more humid and hotter as we descended to Goa.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We will go back to India. We think cycling is a fabulous way to see a different country.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Tricia Simon

    exploring the sights and the countryside

    A wonderful cycle exploration of a fascinating part of India with a great team and group. Mostly quiet roads through countryside and villages, lots waves and smiles from the local people. The sights visited were amazing, surpassed my expectations. great accommodation. cycling was definitely moderate level, a steady pace with few manageable hills along the way. A relaxed pace to enjoy all the sights en route and plenty of stops for tea/coffee in interesting little places. The train ride was very entertaining, full of local life. Lovely to end on the beach, with 'cool down' gentle rides then a taste of the Goan capital.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the local school and enjoying the enthusiastic greeting. Waving and chatting locals, with occasional requests for selfies. Exploring Hampi world heritage site, Jain temple with statue on the hill and temple carvings at Belur.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Have a look at our daily digest video of our trip here www.stevenflett.co.uk
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Robby Tucker

    Cycling country lanes and seeing Temples.

    This was an easy cycle ride with lots of smooth tarmac . There were a few hills to contend with and one long descent which most in our group thoroughly enjoyed. Not for the faint hearted. The temples were amazing and Hampi is a huge site which we only say some off. Hotels were mostly excellent and the food fabulous if you like spicy and veggie which I am. I was unable to actually cycle due to a previous injury so travelled in the back up bus. So the cycle experience is my husbands .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me seeing Hampi . So massive and virtually unheard of here. Also the Portuguese house with the super meal we had there. I also loved seeing the rural life as we drove by and stopping to photograph it. Seeing the birds again being to stop and look.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Joseph was a very good leader. He is quite new to leading and learnt a bit more from our trip. Always mixing with the group and sorting our various issues as they arouse. Need to share more information about the local cultures and farming , crops etc.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring light weight clothes which can be washed out over night and dry. Few laundry facilities. As you live out of your case we find using packing cubes keeps the clothes separate and clean. Binoculars if you like bird watching. A good book to read as plenty of down time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip didn't have the usual Exodus zest and is being updated at present. A couple of days spent travelling in bus or train.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Laurene Tubb

    Cycle Mysore to Goa - what an exciting adventure

    This was my first group cycling trip with Exodus and my first visit to India.........and what an exciting adventure it turned out to be. I had been worried about which level of cycling to choose but level 3 (moderate) turned out to be perfect for me. There were some challenges but they were all achievable. There was never any pressure and the group team spirit speeds you along. I was constantly surprised to discover the distances covered and how well I had done. India is a law unto itself and I was fascinated to see it all. You soon get used to the traffic system and I never felt at risk at any time. All the hotels were good and I enjoyed them all and their diversity. I loved cycling through villages where everyone smiles and waves. Genuinely pleased to welcome us. So much to see (and sense) all the time. I thought I might have trouble with the food but not at all. With eggs (if wanted) for breakfast we were set up to try whatever lunch and dinner brought. I thought Joseph (our leader) did well to find us so many different places and choices. The group ate together all the time. I particularly liked this. We were looked after very well by Joseph, Rintu and Maneesh (plus two more staff on the bus). Nothing was too much trouble and they truly wanted us to have a wonderful holiday. I was very impressed with it all.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many things. Really loved visiting a village school and being with the children. Really enjoyed our visit to a Portuguese Villa (with lunch). Got a real buzz from cycling with the traffic, cowes, pigs, people and sometimes monkeys !! Wow to the big long descents. These were great and certainly a good reward for the long slog up first !! Loved it all.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Joseph was kind, gentle and caring. Very capable of dealing with things. Just a really really nice guy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I read blogs before I went and took notice. I bought a gel saddle and chamois butter and I stopped wearing underwear. I never had any discomfort at all the whole of the time. I therefore recommend all these. Other than that......there is not a lot of time for rinsing things through and getting them dry. Cycling tops definitely dry the quickest. Pack things that don't crease if you can. Lightweight because it is hot. Sometimes our days reached nearly 40C. Small soaps and shampoos were at most hotels. I got bitten despite the Deet. Take antihistamine. Nobody on my trip got ill at all (as far as I know) which is a great tribute to the places we were taken to eat and drink.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Two hours is not a long enough transit through Mumbai. If you have any choice do try to get minimum four hours. It is huge and manic and Visa Control takes forever.
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