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

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96 Reviews

  • Reviewed February 2020
    Eddie Irlam

    A trip for your bucket list.

    I have done many cycling trips with Exodus and without doubt, this is the best of the lot. If you want a good mix of cycling with plenty of time for afternoons by the poolside, this is the trip for you. The climb to Ooty is exactly as described on the tin and it’s tough. The rest of the tour is all within the average cyclists capabilities. Only one 4 hour bus transfer during the trip, the rest pretty much involved finishing the days ride at your destination hotel. The whole trip ran like clockwork and that’s no accident all thanks to our first class tour guide Joseph, Maneesh and Kam, our excellent bike team. We were a mixed group of 13 like minded people and it worked perfectly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, cycling through the villages in Karnataka where sometimes time seems to simply stand still and the rice barge trip on the backwaters of Kerala.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There is simply no better guide than Joseph. Absolutely faultless and a truly nice bloke.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you only ever do one cycling tour in Asia, do this one.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Will Hamilton

    Wonderful experience

    This was a fantastic couple of weeks. Joseph and his team are absolutely first class. The cycling is easy apart from that climb up to Ooty! Lots of magical memories.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The visit to the temple at Guruvayoor. Farm walk and chai at the farmhouse. Seeing elephants in the wild. Home stay lunch. Houseboat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First class.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Lynda Branch

    Simply sensational

    My husband and I had an amazing time on this cycling trip. From the start in Mysorevisiting stunning temples and cycling through manic traffic to the backwaters of Kerala and the tranquil pace to the national parks and tiger and elephant sightings it was a wonderful experience. Safi and his team were first class guides - there to help in every way they could and to enhance each experience and always with a smile on their faces. Nothing was too much trouble and the added extra of being impromptu guests at an Indian wedding was an experience we’ll never forget. The cycling was accessible to us as occasional cyclists and sometimes challenging. Climbing the hill to Ooty was certainly physically demanding but we had plenty of time and support on route and the midway tea point provided some much needed respite. The roads are, as described in the trip notes, mostly good but with some rough patches but taking our time we all navigated these without too much difficulty. It’s hard to pick out the top highlights because there were so many varied and different experiences but for us the night on the houseboat (where we all dressed in traditional outfits) and seeing a tiger at close range were two. The food was also exquisite. However, it’ll be the smiles of everybody we met and the hospitality of people who couldn’t do enough for us that we’ll remember. We can’t recommend this trip highly enough,

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having lunch in a family home where we tasted a huge range of local delicacies all served by every member of a lovely family. We loved it so much that we went back for a cookery class.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Safi was incredible. From start to finish nothing was too much trouble - he anticipated our needs even before they were apparent to us. His local knowledge added hugely to the trip and he knew every local place to stop at, the best places to eat, where to shop, local craftsmen who demonstrated their skills. If anybody needed anything - e g medication, insect cream - he took care of it all. He gently guided us on the cycles - always around if we needed him but happy for us to go at our own pace as well. A big shout out should also go to this two assistants - Vypin and Santhosh - who were also fantastic. As a team of three they couldn’t have been better and added hugely to our trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that there’s some cycling in traffic so practice this before going. Pretty much everybody had a bit of a funny tummy - not enough to stop us cycling - so hand gel essential and supplies of Imodium.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    David Wilford

    Wow!

    This really was a holiday of heightened senses: the most brilliant colours, the noisiest roads, the most intense flavours, the brightest smiles, the biggest views – and everything experienced in the thick of it, either from a bike or on foot. Vehicle transfers are few and far between, meaning there’s nothing between you and your environment (including a tiger, if you’re lucky enough to see one – which sadly we weren’t). The great thing about Exodus at their best is that they can organise things we could never do on our own: not just carefully picked hotels and restaurants, but also temple and palace tours, a safari, a houseboat trip, a bespoke lunch in a bay of the Indian Ocean – and much more. That not only makes this trip great value – it also makes a lifetime memory. And then, of course, there are the guides. The unfailing cheerfulness and knowledge of Joseph and our support driver Maneesh were a constant bonus that contributed to this being not only our best Exodus trip to date (it was our fourth) but one of the best holidays of our lives. Cycling aside, in fact, a highlight was a lesson in Bollywood dancing from Joseph – who is incredible at it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    One of two: getting up Ooti hill without passing out, and Joseph's Bollywood lesson - see above!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Joseph and Maneesh were both fantastic - anybody who gets this team in future is very lucky.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just book it...
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Keri L

    Wonderful cycle trip through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala

    This was my first trip to India and it was a fabulous experience. I loved the cycling, which was mainly moderate with a few tough days, and we packed in so much that it felt like an amazing introduction to the country. We had wonderful guides, our group got on famously and the food was delicious. It was a very memorable holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    That's genuinely hard to narrow down, as there was so much to be inspired by. Getting to the top of Ooty ( sooo hard) watching the sun rise from the houseboat, Mysore palace illuminations, the temple at Guruvayor, the beach at Varkala - there were so many lovely moments.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shibu, Shegar and Sandosh (apologies for spelling) were a great team that looked after us so well. There's no way we would have packed so much into our limited time without their guidance, and we certainly never went hungry or thirsty. One of our group was celebrating a big birthday and they made it a very special experience for us all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Really I'd just say go for it. There are challenging days on the bike so be as prepared as possible, but with some training, you can do it. I'd been worried about stomach upsets and mosquito bites and wasn't troubled by either. In fact as a vegetarian I've never eaten so well in my life - the food was glorious, and plentiful - we all worried whether we'd squeeze into our Lycra by the end of the holiday. I honestly don't have any notes of caution. One of our group did the whole trip on a Brompton, so anything is possible!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just to thank our guides, and the rest of our group, for one of the best holidays I've been on. It was a total blast and I wish I was there now!
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Sharon Reuben

    A Perfect Balance!

    My first time using Exodus for long-haul...I've traveled independently all over the tropics so was reluctant about this, wondering if it would be worth the money, but compared to the European trips I actually think it's great value & I loved this trip It's a perfect balance of cycling & sight-seeing with the best food I've EVER eaten in India, which I put down to our guide Safi. As a vegetarian, you can't eat better than Southern India :-) Lots to do, heaps to see, great variety of landscape, architecture and more...people are warm and friendly towards cyclists here...use your bell in the busy areas and enjoy the glorious peace of the quiet out-of-town rides. The backwater trip was lovely & peaceful, most hotels very good & a few excellent. I'm an experienced distance cyclist so wasn't daunted by the itinerary...most days are leisurely, a few more challenging which keeps it interesting -without question, the climb to Ooty is a serious challenge so be prepared. That said, a few folks used the support vehicle, that's what it's there for so don't be proud! * Would definitely recommend *

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a tiger in Chamundi was unexpected and magical...Seeing the sign for the last hairpin bend up to Ooty was a different kind of magical!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Safi was great - very good company, didn't push the group too hard but also kept to time and delivered a great trip with lots of variety, heaps of local interest, incredible food etc.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You don't need many clothes - bring light thin layers as it gets v hot as you head south, but the few days around Ooty including the long descent after it are properly chilly, particularly flying back down to sea level out of the sun! The bikes are good...bring a little saddlebag or similar to hold a few items (phone etc) There's nothing you can't buy locally but ideally bring mossie spray / sun cream from home.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Sue Jones

    An unforgettable experience

    The cycling was challenging at times due to ascent and temperature but the local guides were realistic and supportive. The trip through three Indian states showcased the amazing friendliness of the local Indian people. The trip demonstrated the wildlife of Indian, the heritage of the area, history and heritage of the locals and the cycling challenges. Recommended as a great way to see the real India. Please don't see each day as a race and get into the Indian time zone and slow down and enjoy the time cycling rather than try and finish first.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing tigers and elephants in the wild.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Joseph is a Kerala local who cares deeply about his clients and has great local knowledge.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Sue Jones

    An unforgettable experience

    The cycling was challenging at times due to ascent and temperature but the local guides were realistic and supportive. The trip through three Indian states showcased the amazing friendliness of the local Indian people. The trip demonstrated the wildlife of Indian, the heritage of the area, history and heritage of the locals and the cycling challenges. Recommended as a great way to see the real India. Please don't see each day as a race and get into the Indian time zone and slow down and enjoy the time cycling rather than try and finish first.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing tigers and elephants in the wild.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Joseph is a Kerala local who cares deeply about his clients and has great local knowledge.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    David Netherwood

    Tough in places, but a great holiday

    This is a really good holiday with chance to see some very different bits of India, from the illuminated palace of Mysore to the tigger reserve (we saw a tigger), to the 36 hairpin bends on the mountainous road to Ooty (1200m accent), the glorious tea plantations (that actually smell of tea), then Kerala itself, with its palm trees, beaches and backwaters. If you are worried about the recent flood (2018), don't be everything is open, schools, roads, hotels, pools, etc. In fact there is no trace of it at all and we stayed in places that had flooded. You do need to be prepared, some parts (especially Mysore) are dirty, smelly and noisy. The driving in India is downright scary - you will find vehicles coming round bends on the wrong side of the road, but it all somehow works,and speeds are lower that the UK. The food (I'm vegetarian) with very few exceptions was outstanding. Worth booking for the food alone. The bikes were perhaps not maintained as well as I would have liked, and were a little heavy, but were mostly up to the job. Some sections of the cycling are tough! We had rain in the mountains were it got quite cold, but left it behind as we descended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the top of Ooty hill, at last. Spotting a tiger on the jeep safari The hindu temple at night, with dancing, fire and elephant. Swimming in the brakes of the Arabian sea The food! The glorious tea plantations, they are so pretty

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Put in a bit of training. Pack warm clothing too. Bring a pen! Book it.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Gerry Roberts

    Fabulous experience

    India remains much as I saw it almost forty years ago; more traffic though! The people are lovely and the food is fantastic Kerala itself is well over the recent floods, so don’t let this hold you back. It’s truly beautiful. Our guide, Joseph, was lovely; calm, confident and informative at all times. Thoroughly recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Descent from Ooty Quite stunning

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thoroughly good man Knew just how to keep the group together and safe. Reliable and calm

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t worry about the recent floods The food is fabulous and safe!