Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18154 Reviews

  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    Toughest yet!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The awesome scenary and how it changed as we travelled thro' the Himalayas. The Nepalese, their constant smiling faces, their courteous manner, the children who loved having their photo's taken. The mountains, the wildlife, the rivers.It's just a wonderful place to visit and be part of!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The perfect ambassador for both his country and his employer. Extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of leadership in this very tough trek.Always there and accomodating, the kind of person you would love to employ.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would suggest that they speak to someone who has been on this trek prior to signing up, although the trip notes are quite factual I believe that they should discuss all aspects of what lies ahead. This should cover personal equipment and previous experience in both summer and winter walking / climbing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Prior to going on this trip I spoke to an Exodus representative re suitability of my climbing boots, he advised that my Scarpa Manta boots were adequate. I found out later that they were not suitable for the Mera ascent, due to the fact that they were not double skinned and I could be susceptible to Frostbite (due to lack of oxygen effecting blood circulation). This information was mooted intially by our leader and also a leader of another group. Fortunately I didn't sustain Frostbite but I have certainly nipped 4 of my toes on my right foot..Again that's why I believe that prior to individuals signing up for this tremendous trip they should be interviewed by someone with the relevant experience, to discuss the trek in more detail.
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    Shows Nepal's real colours - Awesome!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking across vast valleys to the gigantic mountains in the mist and early morning light and realising some very poor people are, in one way, a lot richer than anyone on this planet.Oh, and washing the elephants too!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent!Good understanding of what people wanted from their holiday, very friedly with a great smile! A really nice guy.Had a good blend of knowledge and humour which relaxed everyone into enjoying themselves.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Even if it's cloudy and you can't see the big views of the mountains in the distance, open your eyes to the fantastic scenery and culture that unfolds by the bucketload under your very nose.Learn a little of the local language, if nothing else it will make both you and the locals smile!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Suva din! (have a nice day!)
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    Thought provoking village.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the descent to and staying in the remote village of Bara Bhangal. After a steep and very dusty descent reaching the river and being able to have a good wash was much appreciated. The following day we visited the local school much to the delight of both the local children, in their uniforms, who enthusiastically posed for pictures  and ourselves. This village is cut off for 6 months of the year by snow and most of the inhabitants come in over the Thamser pass in the spring to spend a summer of hard work on the terraced fields that covered all the nearby hills rising very steeply from the river, yet there is now hydroelectric power in the village and a satellite phone. This did lead me to think how long this way of life would continue and how many of the young school children would wnt continue with this way of life.The most thought provoking part of the trip was the comments from the tour leader about how much the glaciers had shrunk in the past few years and how little snow cover there was.   

    What did you think of your group leader?

    "Dibs" was very proficient and friendly, making us all feel at home very quickly. He worked well with the porters and local guides to ensure that the all trip ran smoothly and we all arrived safely at each days campsite pretty much together. I enjoyed his company and chatting to him whilst walking.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit before you go or you will not enjoy the experience and Indian driving and roads are somewhat unsettling , so if you are  a nervous passenger bewarned.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My first trip to India and I am looking forward to going back again for more walking in the same area in the next few years when I can afford it.
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    Desert Storm

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sheer emptiness of the landscape and the colours and the silence and the sky becoming mad with stars at night.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohamed was very friendly, but some of the group occasionally found his pace a little merciless, and there was a lack of breaktime treats - just a few sweets, or sweeteners of some kind, would have meant a lot in the middle of a scorching route-march, or, indeed, at the end of a long day's trekking.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a plentiful supply of sugary chews or tracker bars for those blood sugar-plunging moments. And a comfortable pair of walking sandals would probably serve you better in the desert than a pair of clunky walking boots.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was probably a little tougher walking than I expected - for sheer heat & duration rather than particularly challenging terrain. But running up and down the dunes was great fun, and it was, overall, a truly elemental experience. 
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    Penguin's and Parties!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All of it!!!! Seeing in the New Year on the deck of the ship in full daylight!  Being the first group to try the new sport of 'Speed Camping' on the ice - speed camping because we had to evacuate after 20 mins due to high winds!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Woody was fantastic ... would go on a trip with him as a leader anytime!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack your essential cold weather clothes across more than one bag ... as several cases go missing on nearly every flight to Ushuaia.  Wear your coat and boots on the flight to be on the safe side!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An amazing experience on the white continent ... every day we saw new sights and had new experiences which we'll never forget.  The crew and leaders were knowledgable and fun to spend time with.  There were just the right number of people on the boat and we never had to wait to get off the ship for excursions. 
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    A truly beautiful place

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Beautiful area. Lovely hotel. Great food. Friendly people. And, oh that first beer in the bar after day one!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First class. Friendly and knowledgeable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do this one

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A word of thanks to Pat, proprietor of  Hotel "Els Frares" , for his assistance on the last day when I was unwell.
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    That First Saharan Sand Dune Camp.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We arrived with a great swirl of sand in our Toyota 'camels', and our Bedouin drivers who seemed to be enjoying the whole desert thing as much as we were drove into this massive pristine saucer in the sand, with a dramatic flourish. An enormous dune above us to the west and a range of dunes all around the north, south and east  ... all pristine .. just our camels'  (actually the 4x4s) tracks.  The soft sand, the foam matresses and thick blankets beneath our sleeping bags made this open air bed absolutely blissfully comfortable for these mildly arthritic 67 year old bones. No tent for me.  The stars above so brilliant. The sunrise just fantastic from a sleeping bag.The arthritic bones found getting up from the crouch position after a wee behind the ladies' sand dune area the most difficult part of the trip as getting up from crouch position needs a firm lever for me to push down on and the sand was soft - but I didn't need to call for help....thank goodness!!! Eventually found that the trick is to kneel in the sand.  At my age I need 2 or 3 such trips a night, and even this I found exciting, just wandering off into the darkness.  Just me and the sand and the stars.  Mind you a torch is ESSENTIAL for finding your sleeping buddy and the right sleeping bag on the return. The young and fit climbed the enormous soft-sand sand-dunes right to that sharp razor edge on top. The old and fit (that's me) walked with the young and fit and Abdul our guide over the firmer sand in the morning for a rendezvous with the 4x4s. Our Tuareg cooks wore wonderful brilliantly coloured, purples and emerald green robes with a white head and face covering while driving, just the eyes showing. Shy? Respectful? Religous? ... No, just practical for the hot and sandy day...in the evening they were in cord jeans and tea shirts, just like the lads in my home town. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abdul was a five star leader - he was caring for all, joined in the very energetic fun of our young travellers but was considerate and caring for the not so young. I loved the relationship he had with the Tuareg and Bedouin drivers and kitchen chaps....and the Tuareg who were living in the desert and from whom he bought a couple of goats for the end of Ramadan. He was knowledgable about the ancient cave paintings in the desert.  He was also knowledgable about the Roman cities of Leptis Magna and Sabratha etc. etc. He seemed to really care that we were all happy and having a good time.  He also seemed to be having a good time alongside us which was great for the whole ambience.  This was a great group, mixed ages which I like and Abdul gave equal attention to all. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Taking a torch is essential. A 3 season sleeping bag is also essential for October - my friend in a 2 season one needed to use the blanket (provided) to be warm enough, wheras I was able to use my provided blanket underneath my sleeping bag for added softness.About 5 days without water for washing in the desert so take the necessary clothes changes and wipes. Plenty of bottled water for teeth and drinking etc.A little plastic child's sand shovel would be useful for burying u-no-wot in the desert sand.You need to be reasonably fit as a walker to get the most out of the desert and the Roman sites.On the long journey back to the north, one of the in-door sleeping places is VERY basic, and not pristine and wild and lovely like the outdoor desert. Was lots of plastic debris strewn around outside, all 17 of us in 3 rooms, so be sure you can cope with this.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The fixed camps of round mud huts with thatched roofs were an absolute delight. Twin sleeping areas inside. The separate shower and toilet areas were pretty basic but clean.The troglodyte caves were also super - except that it rained very heavily and the noise on the plastic cover over the outer area kept many of us awake, also the door of our cave was covered with an old camel(?) blanket, wet in the rain and did it smell!!!   All part of the experience though.The food at the troglodyte stop was absolutely WONDERFUL. Homemade sweetmeats on arrival, the dinner and the next morning's breakfast were all magnificent.  
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    An occasionally frustrating experience

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing wildlife very, very close.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    During the walk - not great - seemed to play little part in the organisation. Leader during the safari was very good, however.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you're a woman - wear a bra!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Very disappointed not to have a proper chance to look around Nairobi - despite all but one of the group specifically requesting that. And thus disappointed that we did not get to see (and buy from) the big craft markets there.
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    Fantastic break - great place people and unforgettable scenery

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Guided walks were the best way to sample the variety of countryside surrounding the area of Tuscany we visited.  Good food and family environment made for a very relaxed break.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rupert did a great job

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some strenuous ascents, short but intense, definitely worth it though
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    This holiday did everything it said it more and more!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Maria's cooking... (trust me!)The walks -of course and Guy as a guideThe bars...The friends

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fun, and the right mixture of involvement and detachment - very knowledgeable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Diet before you come - in spite of all the walking we still put on weight (aAria's cooking)