Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18161 Reviews

  • 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)
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    Chateau & Wines of the Loire

    Chateau & Wines of the Loire

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the Chateau's, spotting Red Deer and Red Squirrels.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.Charming, knowledgable and very good company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take something warm to wear!!There were a couple of very cold days even in September.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    More leader led holidays in France.Ramblers Holidays are stealing the country!!!
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    Paradise at the Top of the World

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Experiencing the awe-inspiring scenery. Being within feet of a magnificent polar bear (It was on land, we were on water.) which spent as much time watching us as we did watching it.  Sitting in a zodiac with the engine turned off just listening to the ice crackle and pop around us. Enjoying the sensation of splendid isolation. Watching a young humpback whale breach. Seeing, and smelling, walrus enjoying the afternoon sun. Watching a glacier calve.Having the "birders" in the group rhapsodise at the sight of a pair of ivory gulls. Sunbathing on deck in the midnight sun. Celebrating crossing 80 degrees North with hot chocolate on deck. Being colder than I`ve ever been in my life before. I could go on.......

    What did you think of your group leader?

    All of our guides were brilliant. Their range of knowledge was superb and all were willing to share their expertise and passion for the area with us. Naturally, being in polar bear territory, safety was a huge issue and of paramount importance. We always felt safe and in control of events going on around us.   

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not under-estimate how cold it can be, particularly when sitting for several hours at a time in the zodiacs. Layering is certainly the key.  Walking boots are not vital. The ship provides wellies which you need for the wet landings and we found that they were perfectly fine for walking on the tundra. I didn`t wear my boots once. Although the airline SAS delivered us safely to Longyearbyen it failed to deliver our luggage and that of several others on our trip. It seems this was not an isolated incident. The airline did pay for some replacement gear for us but it made for an upsetting start. Be prepared to become an "ice-bore" trying to communicate to your friends and family just how beautiful this place is.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our ship the "Vavilov" was most comfortable and we were very well looked after by all concerned throughout.  Be aware...the ice is addictive and I guarantee you will be back.  
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    Phritse La Pass was worth every leaden step to the top - awesome

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip was so varied it is far too difficult to highlight any one thing.. The journey to the start of the trek was an experience all of its own. Phuktal monastary was fabulous; passing the villagers in the valleys highly thought provoking; and the mountain scenery speaks fpr itself. The trip was spiritually refreshing and highly rewarding both in terms of physical endeavour and emotional well being.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dibs was laid back in his approach which helped to put the group at ease. He was incredibly helpful and always diligent to the well being of the group. It would be a pleasure to trek with him again.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the full range of weather conditions. I took wet suit boots for the river crossings and they proved to be invaluable especially before 6am in glacial rivers!! Take a few scooby snacks with you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip has great and varied scenery. You will see so many different things that your trip will feel a lot longer than the 16 trekking days. It was a very rewarding and informative trip, I thoroughly loved it. Make sure that you take a ride in a rickshaw in Delhi!! The Kwality restaurant in Delhi was good food, and nobody was sick afterwards... always a bonus!!