Turtle, Ecuador

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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed April 2019
    Karen Reed

    Mera

    I had an excellent trip and was aware issues could affect the summit attempt and so made sure I enjoyed the journey. There was an unusual amount of snow and we were the first to go over the first pass, but the challenging walk to the start of the peak meant I was well acclimatised and practiced at walking in snow. Compared to other companies we had extra rest days and easy days which I feel helped me.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking up the highest mountain I've ever been up with even bigger mountains looming up even higher behind me!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jangbu was excellent. He's extremely experienced having summited Everest several times, but he's also easy going and approachable. Another group commented that they were getting more information from his daily briefing to us than from their own leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Respect altitude. Do as advised, take it slowly, eat plenty, drink plenty and rest when possible. Also kitbag weight matters. The bags are carried by porters and another group had such heavy bags they had to wait up to 2 hours in cold, damp, clammy clothes while their porters struggled to carry their bags over a difficult pass.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It's a tough trek. You don't need to be super fit but day after day of walking takes it toll. Experience of long days of walking in snow can be gained from winter walking in Scotland, and I attended a mountaineering week at Glenmore Lodge, Cairngorms to get the mountaineering skills required.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Helen Stevenson

    Wonderful trip!

    The countryside walks were paced perfectly, with time at the end of each to visit beautiful hilltop towns for leisurely lunches and sightseeing . Visits to Siena and Florence provided a taster for these beautiful cities. The wine tasting, particularly the Siena Wine School, was enjoyable, as was the Chianti imbibing throughout the week. Everything at Villa Casalta was very relaxed, owner and her staff friendly and helpful. I appreciated the tea and coffee making facilities set up in the sitting room for Exodus customers. I loved having day off mid week when I spent a leisurely day in Castellina.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No single moment as I enjoyed it all.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz Proctor is brilliant in every way - friendly, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, helpful, and more...

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To book a time slot for Uffizi Gallery the trip notes suggest between 11.45 and 16.00. Liz has discovered a very good free walking tour of Florence 10.30 to 13.00, which I had to leave at noon. Also 4pm is too late as it's a minimum half hour walk back to the bus for 5pm. I suggest around 2pm would be ideal time slot. I was pleased I took walking poles and used them on all the country walks.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Lesley G

    Vietnam Adventure

    I had high expectations for this trip and I was not disappointed. The trip was perfectly described in the brochure and offers an unforgettable experience of this fascinating country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were lots from watching in disbelief as mopeds carrying everything weave between each other in Hanoi, to the mysterious Halong Bay, to the beautiful lanterns in Hoi An to the vibrancy of Saigon. I particularly enjoyed being part of a group to share the whole experience with. And of course having a Vietnamese guide who gave us such an in depth insight into this country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Tan Nguyen, made the trip. He gave us such an insight into the life and culture, as well as share some wonderful stories with us. His knowledge of Vietnam and his spoken English was excellent and everything was always done with a smile. We were never disappointed with his restaurant recommendations. On numerous occasions he guided us safely across the busy roads. Anyone who has been to Vietnam will know that this is no mean feat!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is a hectic schedule with some early starts and a lot of travelling including the overnight reunification train. There is also plenty of walking in hot humid conditions. But if you want to see and really experience this country, I cannot think of a better way of doing it. Taking a silk sleeping bag liner for the train is very useful and a pack of cards to pass the time away with fellow travellers! Also, when changing cash in Hanoi, they much preferred new notes. They weren’t keen on my crumpled £20 notes!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was impressed with how well organised the trip was from the moment I made an initial enquiry, to the wealth of information before the trip (the trip notes are invaluable) to the picking up at the airport and the organised excursions.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Lynda Hoar

    Amazing tour

    A tour to be thoroughly recommended, covering all aspects of Sri Lanka and it’s lovely people. Busy, lots of early starts and some long journeys but so worth it. The trip notes were accurate and we were also able to see sights at their most opportune moments, I.e. climbing Lion Rock before breakfast and before the crowds, Temple of the Tooth while a ceremony with drumming was on, Horton Plains early before the heat and the mists descended. Having lunches cooked by villagers and our guide stopping and buying us bananas, watching curd (yogurt) making and tasting it, eating freshly sliced Jack fruit at the roadside. We enjoyed every minute.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing elephants and leopards (and other animals) close up from a jeep in Yala and Minneriya. The ceremony at The Temple of the Tooth. Climbing Lion Rock. On the cycling day we enjoyed seeing the countryside, wildlife, and the local people, also having an amazing collection of curries cooked on a farm for lunch. Paul and I don’t cycle but tuc tucs were hired for the non cyclists so that we could still enjoy the day to the full.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ruwan was an amazing tour leader. There are some long journeys on this trip but they didn’t seem long as he made them very interesting with his informative talks on the history and culture of Sri Lanka and by regular stops for treats like bananas and Jack fruit, view points and waterfalls. He was very calm and well organised, warm and friendly and a good sense of humour. We were always well informed on where we were going, timings and what to take etc. Nothing was too much trouble for Ruwan and it was a pleasure to have him as our tour guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light, the hotel laundry service was excellent, good value, and in most cases same day service. Leave some room in your suitcase for purchases, I.e. tea. It was very hot and humid during our stay (March) so you’ll need loose cool casual clothing. It’s probably best if you like curry, there’s the most amazing selection at the buffets, and a lot are vegetarian. However, it’s usually possible to order a la carte, just remember to do so at least half an hour in advance! Binoculars were useful, especially in the game parks. Walking trainers best for Horton Plains. We changed some money at the airport on arrival but all the hotels took credit cards.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Bob Entwistle

    Great Holiday

    A most interesting and enjoyable trip with good company and plenty of wildlife to see. The safaris enabled us to see lions on 3 separate occasions, a leopard up a tree and a 'crash' of 5 white rhinoceros asleep under a tree as well as elephants on land and swimming. We stayed under canvas but with en-suite facilities except at the Okavango Delta. The visit to Victoria Falls at the end of the trip was impressive the scale of them is huge.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two nights camping at the Okavango Delta which we reached by mokoro (dug out canoes) being poled by local villagers. This was experiencing real Africa.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rowan was knowledgeable and helpful as well as an excellent cook during the camping.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your camera protected by waterproof bags to Victoria Falls you will get some amazing pictures.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Bob Entwistle

    Great Holiday

    A most interesting and enjoyable trip with good company and plenty of wildlife to see. The safaris enabled us to see lions on 3 separate occasions, a leopard up a tree and a 'crash' of 5 white rhinoceros asleep under a tree as well as elephants on land and swimming. We stayed under canvas but with en-suite facilities except at the Okavango Delta. The visit to Victoria Falls at the end of the trip was impressive the scale of them is huge.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two nights camping at the Okavango Delta which we reached by mokoro (dug out canoes) being poled by local villagers. This was experiencing real Africa.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rowan was knowledgeable and helpful as well as an excellent cook during the camping.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your camera protected by waterproof bags to Victoria Falls you will get some amazing pictures.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Vicky Hau

    3 for the price of one!

    Literally just returned from this trip and have to say it was amazing. the kind of holiday where you get 5 days in and already feel you've been away for 2 weeks and by the end of the actual 2 weeks you can't quite believe you've only been away for a fortnight. it's a trip of 3 parts: a) jungle safari b)cultural foodie city breaks and c) a weekend beach holiday. We got really lucky and saw the Malaysian big 5 i (Orangutan, croc, proboscis monkey, sun bears and pygmy elephant) and all 6 hornbills. the Malay peninsular was a smorgasbord of food and culture (go see the Baba Nonya house in Malacca and the Blue Mansion in Penang).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    seeking and seeking the pygmy elephants in the wild

    What did you think of your group leader?

    our two trip leaders were knowledgeable, friendly, fun and fab.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    you can hire wellies for the jungle walk so no need to take walking boots, a pair of trainers is sufficient for the rest of the Borneo bit. make sure you have a waterproof, there are some heavy rain showers Be adventurous with the food - the trip leaders know what they are doing and the most wonderful food is available at the street markets - didn't get dodgy tummy.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Eve Parker

    Wonderful Andalusia

    A peaceful, relaxed walk amongst olive groves, outstanding scenery and quiet, white villages. Based in a cortijo which served superb food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the griffon vultures soaring and enjoying the numerous wild flowers. pleased to see Ibex too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alexis was great for giving us information about the area and what we could expect.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go if you want to discover a peaceful Spain.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip to Seville was good, especially visiting the Alcazar, and we had a bonus trip to Ronda on our way back as our flight wasn't until late. Again, we had lots of useful tips for the best places to visit and where we'd find the most interesting food.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Alison Bourne

    An amazing trip

    We have just returned from the Cycle Vietnam holiday and had a wonderful time. We were slightly apprehensive having never done a group holiday or cycling holiday before, and I was worried that we might not be able to keep up. However, the tour was so well planned and organised that we were fine. The tour is graded a 3, and that felt right to us. It was challenging at times to us as recreational, 50 something cyclists, but not impossible. Our group consisted of 12 people - two couples, 4 lone men and 4 lone women, and that worked really well. We all got on and had a great time together. Our tour leader, Son, was incredible. He ensured we all had a good time and kept reminding us that we were on holiday and there to enjoy ourselves. He also arranged stops for us in little out-of-the-way places, which we would never have seen otherwise. The heat was gruelling - high 30s but with humidity it felt like low 40s. Someone in our group was from Puerto Rico and he found it too hot, so it wasn't just us Brits! The support truck and bus were there is you needed it - some people chose to only cycle in the morning and get on the bus for the afternoons, and that was fine. The only time I had to give up was on a 10km climb where the heat got to me after 8kms. I was picked up by the support truck which was always there if needed. Also, although the bus usually met us every 20kms with water and fresh lemon juice, on very hot uphills the stops were 10kms apart and at one point 5kms. Cycling through the small hill villages is incredible, all the children shout out to you and some of them want to touch you. Everyone was amazingly friendly. Our only regret is that it was often quite difficult to stop to take photos. As well as the cycling itself, we got to go snorkelling on Whale Island which was lovely. There is no air conditioning in Whale Island so be prepared for hot nights there. However it was stunning. Snorkels and flippers are provided but my husband took his own snorkel and mask. The trip to Halong Bay was also incredible, staying out on the boat overnight under a full moon took some beating. Our group had the boat to ourselves, and the staff on board couldn't have been more helpful. They also made great cocktails! I hadn't realised before we got there that you're not allowed to swim there, which I was a bit disappointed about until I saw the size of the jellyfish and then was relieved! We kayaked in the bay which was really good fun.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was all amazing but for me, the ability to cycle in areas we would never have gone to on a bus or car trip was so special, coupled with the friendliness of the people

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Son was incredible, as were the support team. He spent time encouraging us, telling us the history of Vietnam, negotiating for us with local people, and showing us the hidden side of Vietnam. He was also brilliant about sorting out things like getting our laundry done locally rather than using the hotel laundry, and arranging for us to order pizza delivered to the train for the overnight journey

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the humidity. It hadn't occurred to me that on non-cycling days we might get through 3 changes of clothes in a few hours! Don't eat the food on the overnight train. As well as it not looking very appetising you have to go to the dining car which is the only place on the train where smoking is allowed. It's not pleasant!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would thoroughly recommend this trip if you are a competent cyclist, you don't have to be amazing but you probably do need to have a fair level of fitness.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Vivienne LOWERY

    Imperial

    Morocco is a great country with lovely people. Marrakesh and Fez were the highlights. Our guide, Mohammed, was excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The tanning in Fez. It made you realise how lucky you are!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was amazing, very knowledgable and kind.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware there are long days in the minibus.
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