Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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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 2017
    Rob Robinson

    Captivating Japan

    A brilliant introduction to Japan, its people and its culture. A top notch guide and a friendly, cohesive group made up for the terrible but unseasonal weather. Despite raining for 15 out of 18 days it didn't stop us from completing the itinerary (except for a landslide which closed the park where we were due to see the snow monkeys). And it was a packed itinerary, so not much downtime (which you might or might not prefer). The biggest disappointment for me however, was the lack of autumn colour. It was really too early in this part of Japan so I think Exodus should revise their note where it says "Best for autumn colour". I was expecting to find the food to be a challenge but it wasn't, the food was good with plenty of choice and variety. The Temples, shrines, gardens and parks are exactly as you would expect. What you might not expect is that some ancient sites sit cheek by jowl with modern high-rise buildings but usually not the main tourist sites. The Shinkansen was actually better than expected, not to be missed. Plenty of ordinary folk wearing traditional dress, especially in Kyoto.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The "matter of fact" video testimonies of the survivors from Hiroshima. I felt that, although the city will never forget and the degree of forgiveness is hard to assess, it has, nevertheless, "moved on".

    What did you think of your group leader?

    If you get Akemi you will be in very good hands.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are unlucky enough to get bad weather make sure you have packed some waterproof shoes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Perhaps not a holiday of highs and lows but consistently good throughout.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Ragnhildur Magnusdottir

    High Passes to Everest Base Camp

    I have always had love on mountains and visiting Himalaya to see some of the highest and greatest mountains in the world had always been on my list to do and High Passes to Everest Base camp was a wonderful trip to do. We were so lucky with weather the whole trip giving us amazing scenery and view every day and despite a little struggle for me with altitude at some point during the trip I loved every minute of it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many inspirational moment along the trip. The beauty of the mountains with a new scenery every day. All the passes and peaks we attend. The Prayer Service at the monastery in Thyangboche. All the amazing people I met along this journey, my fellow travelers, leader and assistant guides. I also found it a proud moment for the whole group to finish the trip together despite some struggle along the way. Every day was special with it’s own adventure.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    You could tell that Pasang Bomjan had love and respect for the mountains and everywhere we stopped along the way, if it was for a tea break or accommodation for the night, you could also tell that he was loved and respected. He also had real love for his culture and religion which he also shared with his group and I am just thankful for getting a little insight to this beautiful and peaceful religion I knew so little about. With his eyes on everything he also went above and beyond for his group and if it wasn't for him I don't think the whole group would ever had managed to finish the trip. Given a group of people with so many different personality, fitness level and ability and getting them through eighteen days at that high altitude where so many things can put you off demands an incredible lot of skills and insight for a group leader to have and Pasang measured up to all of them. Guarding the group safety and health nothing went pass him and he was always there if you needed him. Caring for people when feeling sick, giving encouragement if you needed motivation or support or just a warm hug and beside this all just a nice and pleasant person to be around. Some people you are just happy and grateful you met and for me Pasang Bomjan is one of them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a wonderful trip to do but because of long endurance and toughness (grated 7) it requires some fitness level, so make sure you read the trips notes through. About half of the trekking time you are also sleeping above 4500 m so be prepared you might feel it at some point. Sleeping at this altitude you also need good sleeping bag because nights get quite cold and down jacket will also be very useful. For water I prefer to use SteriPEN and for backup water purification tablets (if SteriPEN runs out of battery or breaks), but you can also buy bottle water or boiled water. Sun screen is very necessary (for me and my white skin SPF 50), lip balm with protection and hand gel (hand sanitiser). I totally underestimated amount of toilet paper I used but it is easy to buy on the way and also snacks which you can buy everywhere along the trek. If you have some outdoor gear or clothing you are going to replace for new, the local crew will be happy to give your old things second life. It is both appreciated and needed. If you like taking photos, take good camera with you on this trek. The scenery is just breathtaking.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you love mountains you will love Nepal. But Nepal is also so much more than just the mountains with beautiful and peaceful culture and religion and friendly people. Just go there with your heart and mind open, embrace it´s beautiful culture and religion and leave behind you a nice footprints wherever you travel. From Himalaya I take with me beautiful memory I will keep in my heart.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Judy Groome

    Nile Cruise Premium

    I have always wanted to visit Egypt to see the antiquities, but because of the political instability I thought it would be unlikely. So when I saw this trip advertised I jumped at the opportunity. I felt safe thoughout the trip. The first day was a whirlwind visit to the Pyramids, the Sphinx, the Museum in Cairo, the mosque and the bazaar. We then flew to Luxor, visiting the Temple of Karnak and the Temple of Luxor and later boarding the Mirage 1, our cruise boat. This was a great experience, partly because of the wonderful group of people on the trip (19 of us in total), partly because of the comfort on board, the trips and also because the boat had only 40% occupancy so we almost had the boat to ourselves. I think we were all sorry to leave the boat after the 4 nights on board, but the next hotel in Aswan was very comfortable. In spite of visiting many temples and tombs, I never tired of hearing about the Egyptian gods and Pharaohs and looking at the wonderful carvings and art.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This was a trip I will never forget. So many memories, including "Dress up like an Egyptian" evening on the boat, trips in the horse drawn carriages (poor horses), the felucca rides on the Nile, the sharp contrast between the fertile Nile valley and the desert, the very pushy and persistent vendors, sunsets and sunrises on the Nile, the "towel sculptures" that greeted us when we went into our cabins, not to mention the great group of people! But for me, the highlight of the trip was a visit to Abu Simbel. This was an extra excursion and I opted to travel by road rather than fly - 300 km through flat, sandy, relentless, nothing-grows-here desert, which in its own way was beautiful, especially the sunrise and the mirages. Abu Simbel was probably the most amazing site of the whole trip (I actually think it more wonderful than the Taj Mahal!).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, Fouad, was great. He was extremely knowledgable and we learned so much from him. Throughout the trip he managed to take us to places at times when most other visitors had not yet arrived, or had left, so we often had almost exclusive access.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go now before the crowds descent on Egypt once again.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip thoroughly lived up to my expectations, my only criticisms being that I would have preferred longer in Cairo/Giza, and the fact that many of the essential trips were add-ons rather than included in the holiday.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Steve Taylor

    Sicilian volcanoes

    A brilliant trip, full of interest and topped off with a marvellous night view of the fireworks of Stromboli.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Obviously the night climb of Stromboli with spectacular eruptions. However all the walks on Volcano, Lipari and Etna on the Sicilian main island were great too. A great week.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Federica was a great leader. Well organised, sociable, great sense of humour and well aware of how every member of the group was doing. She took us to some great restaurants too. A candidate for leader of the year. Thanks for the Italian lessons Federica.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Nothing too difficult on the walks, but protection from the sun advisable. Good opportunities for keen photographers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No. A great week with a great leader and a good bunch of fellow travellers.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Rich Clubley

    Everest Base Camp/Kala Patthar

    An awesome and successfull trek to Everest Base Camp

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The early morning ascent of Kala Patthar for amazing views over Everest and surrounding peaks Also the trip to the Edmund Hilary school was a real insight local life and the history of the area

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leader Tsherten was excellent, nothing was to much trouble and he looked after us superbly, truly passionate about his work in the mountains and helpfull in everything over the 12 day trek along with awesome local Guide “RB” who looked after us on the mountain. We couldn’t have done it without these guys!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes and research what you are about to do, this definalty set our expectations before we departed (which were exceeded) and made for a successfull trip
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Kathleen Ramsey

    Challenging off-season walking on the Costa Blanca

    A wonderful week of challenging walking in stunning limestone scenery. The November weather was perfect for walking, and we were not troubled by high winds on the summits and so were able to enjoy leisurely late lunches and take in the magnificent views. We stayed in the comfortable family-run El Trestallador Pension which had splendid views from the terrace down to the coast. The evening meals were more than adequate for a group of hungry and tired walkers and consisted of a variety of regional specialities. There were very few other walkers out on the hills during the week and it all felt very remote, despite the proximity to Benidorm.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We had breathtaking views on every walk and I particularly enjoyed the short sections of rock scrambling. One of the highlights was looking down on the skyscrapers of Benidorm from the summit of Puig Campana and realising just how much unspoilt and deserted countryside there is within such a short distance of the tourist areas of the Costa Blanca. On our final day we walked the length of the Sierra de Aitana ridge, and could see everywhere we had walked during the week.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose was an entertaining and knowledgeable guide who worked very hard to make sure that all his group had a good experience. His briefings made clear what we were to expect from each day's walk, and we learned a lot about local flora, farming, and geology (and eateries). His sandwiches were pretty impressive too!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes carefully as they accurately reflect the degree of difficulty (terrain, exposure, length of walks). A good head for heights is essential and you need to be confident about walking on rocky and exposed paths. This is a good winter trip for experienced walkers who don't want to travel long distances to get some off-season sunshine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We walked locally on our day off, and visited the village and castle at Guadalest after breakfast and before the tourist buses arrived from the coast, while others enjoyed a day down on the coast in Altea. We went on the group flight from Gatwick so as not to miss the group transfer from Alicante, but in retrospect it would probably have been fairly simple to make arrangements to meet up with Jose and the rest of the group providing the flight from a regional airport wasn't too delayed.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Allison firks matthews

    Trekking to Everest Base camp

    If you want an adventure this is the trip for you. Beautiful mountains, rivers, forests, bridges and great guides that look after you and show you the wonderful mountains and tradition of the Sherpa traditions. Everything is catered for and your day is planned you are encouraged with every step you make our guide was exceptional and help me to achieve Base camp .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching base camp

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was exceptional he was your Freind mother father doctor and mentor all at the same time especially when the high altitude begins to keep in without him I don't think I would have made my goal of Base camp it was his encouragement and advice that got me there a true credit to him

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just listen to your guide and enjoy the whole experience

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would do it all over again with our group leader and exhodus
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Meena Jefferys

    Annapurna circuit

    I have just returned from a very exciting three week trip to Annapurna circuit. Every day was different and full of adventure. With excellent guide in Gum, we all managed theTharong La pass without any altitude problem. The people of Nepal and all the staff including porters are really happy to help and always smiling. Just make sure you take enough clothes for the cold weather. If you forget there is plenty of opportunity to buy anything you need.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Throng La pass, lovely lunch stops on the way.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gum was the best leader I have ever had. He was always relaxed, smiling and was able to deal with all our needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure you have plenty of clothes for the cold and include a tshirt for the warmer days.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Michael John

    Mike

    To be honest its a bit of a task to sum up everything that we experienced on this one. We did and saw so much. And there really were no dull moments. We were told that we were the first group to try out the all new “Trekking Borneo & Beyond” trip and I reckon that none of it really needs any tweaking for future trips. It was all good. In fact better than good at moments.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The street food tour of KL gave a little flavour of the clash between the old and the new, of one of the fastest growing economies and cities in the world. Love that or hate it, KL is a wonderfully fascinating place. The jungle treks. In between moments of deep concentration, whilst scrambling over roots and humps, you could not help but realise that… “Yes.! I really am in the jungle.” Buzzing - literally - with life. Plants, trees and vegetation like you have never seen. I didn’t think that I would, but I actually began to really like the humidity. It kinda just went so well with the environment somehow. Then there was the amazing sight and experience of walking across the other worldly plateau that sits just below the summit on Kinabalu. It really was like… well, walking on another world actually.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two separate group leaders for this trip. They were both really good, but it has to be said that Jeremy really did go the extra mile whilst we were over on the Malaysian Peninsula.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Im still digesting it all really. Long lasting, fond memories that still resonate after the event. Thats what its all about. I reckon If you are thinking about Malaysia/Borneo and fancy a real adventure then this is the one
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Ross Bishop

    Hike, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

    A varied and challenging week of mountain waking that was a perfect escape from cold and wet weather in the winter months in a beautiful corner of Spain that couldn't be more different than nearby Benidorm. The accommodation up in the hills was very comfortable and the food was outstanding and plentiful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The 5 included day walks were all good in their own right. I particularly enjoyed the lofty views on the Serrella and Aitana ridges. The real highlight though was the near perfect weather for walking - temperatures in the mid teens and hardly a cloud in the sky every day, a real treat in the month of November.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    José is an experienced mountain leader who knows the area like the back of his hand. He has a great sense of humour and speaks immaculate English.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    On the free day, some of the group chose to go to Altea on the coast. This was easily arranged for €15 return and well worth the visit. Personally, I did a self guided walk from Altea to the cliffs of Sierra Heleda - the route was very easy to follow and the coastal views were excellent.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great region of Europe to visit in the winter months when other destinations tend to shut down for the season. If you're looking for a challenge and some great weather, this is the trip for you. There's plenty more walking opportunities along the Spanish coast, for example the Cabo de Gata and I'm hoping that Exodus will add similar trips to their portfolio in the future to offer a greater choice of hiking trips in the winter months.
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