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 November 2018
    Eirian Gooch

    Yes I can!

    We walked the final 127 kms of the Camino from Samos to Santiago de Compostela.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Day four was our longest walk and I had doubts about my ability to complete it. Despite torrential rain I walked all 33 kms. Fellow walkers kept me going.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alvaro was brilliant! He made a little sketch of each day's route. We photographed it and I found it very helpful. He was there for those who needed more support and always good fun. His advice on blister-free walking was invaluable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Slather your feet in vaseline. Enjoy the sights.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Clare Phillips

    Feedback

    This was a super experience altogether, from start to finish, with Exodus having thought of everything. The hotels were great, the arrangements brilliant, the guide, Jose, was amazing, thoughtful, supportive, hardworking, well organised: he made it possible for the team (we 13) to be able to concentrate on the task in hand: getting to Compostela on foot. A great bonus, too, was the way we 13 strangers got on together and helped each other. We spent such a lot of time together in a shared endeavour and it was such a great success, that we are planning to meet again in 2019.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This was when we (all 13 of us only one Catholic among us) went together to the Pigrims' Mass in the Cathedral at Compostela, when the Botafumeiro swung into action and, at the same time, the cathedral organ crashed magnificently into music. We had really arrived and the pain was worth it!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant, fantastic, see above Summary question: 10 out of 10.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do this holiday/trek - it's great. Highly recommended.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A mention here of your staff Alice and Paula at your HQ. When I got a knee injury immediately before the start of the journey and was distraught and fearing that I would have to cancel, they were sympathetic and kind, while, at the same time, explaining clearly my options. I'm so glad that with the help of my GP and supportive friends here at home, it was poss to go and qualify for my Compostela at the end. Many thanks, Clare
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Ignatia Evans

    Wonderful trip

    Thank you to Exodus and Cumbres for making my Camino such a wonderful experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were quite a few moments of gentle chats and encouragement which will stay with me and the genuine sharing of the elation and excitement when arriving at the Cathedral.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were extremely lucky having Alberto as our guide. He is a great leader and excellent co-ordinator. He was always pleased to share his extensive knowledge of the beautiful Galician region, its culture and history. His happy disposition and gentle sense of humour were extra bonuses.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read and take onboard all your trip notes beforehand, try and follow your exercise plan in preparation. Then ... enjoy...

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would certainly like to use Exodus again.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Gillian Martin

    Footsore but happy

    A brilliant trip, well organised and most enjoyable

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Realising we’d actually made it to the cathedral in Santiago

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose was a fantastic guide. Very knowledgeable and full f information. He was also very caring, looking after the group members who had blisters and encouraging those that needed it. It was a pleasure having him guide us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure to take photos at the beginning, especially of the marker stone at the start of the trek, as you will regret it later if you haven’t. They give you a bit of an impetus as you progress knowing how far you’ve come and the distance left to do.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Had never used walking poles before but actually bought some and they were really useful
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Lydia Hammond

    Wonderful Galicia

    This was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. I was invited by a best friend and whilst i wasn't sure I could do the whole walk, coming from couch potato status, I made it with the help of our wonderful guide Jose, the support of my friend and everyone in the group. The Galician countryside is just beautiful and we were blessed with some lovely weather in May, mostly blue skies and sunshine but not too hot. Most of the walk is through beautiful woods and the scents of the countryside even from farmyard to Eucalyptus trees was wonderful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several moments along the trip which were amazing but I really enjoyed the lovely little town of Portomarin, dinnner at O Mirador restaurant and the views of the reservoir below.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose was just amazing. He was full of energy, always smiling and really took care of us all on the trip. I can't imagine we were an easy group to manage as we had different paces and abilities but Jose always knew where we were and kept us in check. He was also very kind and caring looking after our blisters to make sure we made it to the end!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are going to bring a book, just bring the one. You are pretty tired each evening and after dinner most nights, it was straight to bed! Bring two pairs of walking socks for each day so you can change them and keep your feet dry.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just an amazing experience overall and one that I will never forget! Thank you fellow pilgrims - Buen Camino!
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Roger Haydon

    FUN TREK

    Exodus makes your experience virtually worry free. You don’t need to wonder about schedules, meals, hotels, baggage transport, and flights. You get to concentrate on a beautiful walk through farmland and beautiful countryside. You get a paper “passport” to get stamped alone the way. It shows you did the hike and gets you a certificate at the end. A fun souvenir to own.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walk through beautiful farm country and interesting old towns and cities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose was very good at communicating what to expect each day. He really kept the trek worry free for the group. On the trail he sped up or slowed down to keep us together enough to have all stops and meals together. All of the stops were at great places for coffee and food and we put tables together so we could visit. Jose made a point of interacting with all of us. He had excellent advice on how to avoid blisters and offered first aid if people developed them. Having Jose with us allowed us to enjoy the Camino concentrate on the trek.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do an honest self evaluation of your walking skills. Then take time to get to the point that you are able to walk for a few hours and go a long distance. This trek was not a marathon race, but you cover a lot of ground. The days are usually a pattern like : breakfast, walk about 2-3 hours, break, walk about 2-3 hours, lunch, walk about 2-3 hours, break, walk an hour or so, check into hotel with a group dinner scheduled for later. It is a full day that is so interesting and picturesque that is goes by quickly. If you read the blogs they tell you to bring certain kinds of gear. Take it with a grain of salt. Decide what you really need to trek miles per day. Dress for the weather. In May I wore merino wool longjohns, poly tee shirt, Gore Tex pants and jacket, Keen walking shoes. I bought a huge rain parka on the trail. I was warm and dry. I did not carry a pack or knapsack. I had a fanny pack with cash, ID, and small water bottle. I would not recommend bringing poles unless you usually need them to walk. Shoes are the most important thing. Make sure you have shoes you can walk in for hours. I walk 8-10 miles most days. So I know my shoes are broken in and they fit. When you train for the trip trip you will be able to break in new shoes. I only used one pair of walking shoes and never unpacked the second pair. So one good pair of hiking shoes was enough for me. Off the trail I used lightweight slip-ons. In May we had fairly cool weather with rain a few times and lots of sunshine. Walking was usually in the shaded countryside with some mud. It was nice because we did not have extreme weather.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The group blended well and people were fun to be around on the trek. While hiking you can easily take time to speed up or slow down to engage people, either from your group or trekking on their own, in conversation. You meet interesting people. Our guide, Jose, knew the countryside and was full of interesting and historical facts. The trail allows horses, so expect “mud!” Some people bring dogs, most were nice. Bicycles are allowed and most did not signal that they wanted to pass you. You really appreciate the good bikers who give you a verbal heads up and do not just buzz through your group.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    John Ratcliffe

    We Had Fun On The Camino

    I thoroughly enjoyed walking in rural Galicia (whatever the weather), and the company of our international group. It was good fun and we had a great time. Thanks to Jose for looking after us so well and also to Exodus for the logistical arrangements. Walking the Camino is such a unique experience and one which I would recommend particularly when you belong to a group who you can easily walk and socialise with. Glad I went.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On top of the steps leading into Portomarin, the group raised their poles/sticks and formed an impromptu “Guard of Honour” for Jose. He was touched by the tribute and it confirmed to me that we had all well and truly bonded as a group.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose Manuel Garcia. In addition to above, I would like to add that Jose is very experienced and knowledgeable about the Camino (he’s done it for 7 years!). He also puts in a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure things run smoothly e.g. tables were reserved or lunch was ready when we arrived.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Use your baggage allowance to take spare footwear and clothing. Recommend wearing well broken in walking boots or trail shoes. Walking continuously in trainers can lead to blisters especially when the weather is hot or is wet underneath.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    NT NT

    El Camino trek

    This trip will give you a taste of the Camino. I would encourage you to slow down and experience the Camino as a peregrino, rather than race to the lunch stop or the hotel at the end of the day with your head down. Lift your head up, enjoy the views, talk to the other walkers. Enjoy the Camino. Wear running shoes or trainers rather than walking boots. Expect blisters.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking with and sharing the Camino experience

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fine

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Slow down, participate and enjoy the Camino experience Wear trainers not boots Pack your compeeds
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Peter Keeney

    A truly wonderful experience

    Having read a couple of books, with regards to the Camino, and being keen walkers my wife and I thought it would be a great challenge and the opportunity to move away from the more traditional summer holiday. We didn't know what to expect but can honestly say it was a fantastic experience. Everything was extremely well organised, from the flights, transfer, our daily accommodation and meals where necessary. The daily distance wasn't too bad as it is split between morning and afternoon with plenty additional stops on the route, if required. Our group of 16, travelled at different paces and that worked very well. We'd often meet up along the road and exchange different experiences of the day. The overall route, is relatively easy, with only a few hills, here and there and three larger ones towards the end. Accommodation, on the route was extremely good. It varied from a log cabin type to a room that had four double beds! Meals were very good and look out for the Pilgrims Menu - 10 euros and plenty of wine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think the most inspirational moment(s) has to be arriving into Santiago and the Pilgrims mass. It was a feeling of achievement, with a group of people we didn't know the previous week, but have now ended up as friends.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alfonso was an excellent leader. Extremely knowledgeable about the area, the history of the area and the history of the Camino. He was always on the lookout for us all, but not in an intrusive way. He organised a number of meals, for us (daytime/evening time) and everything went really smoothly. Couldn't have asked for a better leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Choose your footwear carefully. I walked mainly in boots and as most reviews say "they're often not required". Most of the Pilgrims walked in some form of light trainer/walking shoe. Take up the freetour in Santiago. It's very informative. You can make a contribution, at the end. We used Santiago DC. Just take it all in and enjoy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We've been inspired to do more of the same.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Sheilah Whyte

    once in a lifetime

    The walk was quite an achievement for me and, as I am close to 70 years old, I'm glad I have experienced it. The travel arrangements by Exodus were good, though I would have preferred to arrive at the start in Samos much earlier than 2.30am! All the hotels were modest and clean and comfortable for our overnight stays. As a group we ate dinner together which was nice, with our guide often suggesting suitable venues. So all in all a wonderful experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not sure you'd call it an inspirational moment but ..... when I completed the 29km day walk!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was Jose Manuel. He was excellent as a leader ensuring that all of us were ok at all times. He emphasised at the beginning the importance of letting him know if any one of us should have the slightest blister so that appropriate care could be taken. He would explain the route for the day and helped us with ordering food and drinks at all the breaks/stops. He would also suggest suitable restaurants for dinner in the evening.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take more than just 1 pair of walking shoes/boots. Even though I had done several walks in my walking boots, I had very sore toes and a blister after 2 days of walking and had to abandon my boots and then walk in my sneakers for the rest of the camino. A couple of people in our group walked the whole 130km in sandals. The walking trails and paths are well trodden and relatively flat, so this might be an option for some. As a mature person, I found my walking poles invaluable but many others in the group did not find them necessary.
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