Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18160 Reviews

  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    The Longest Railway Journey

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Although I like trains and train travel, it was with some trepidation that I undertook this journey, knowing that I will be sharing accommodation on a train with total strangers in "Big Brother" fashion! We British tend to like our "personal space" and do not like getting too close to each other physically....... or emotionally.After two days in Moscow, sizing up each other and getting to know each other, we finally boarded the train in the evening. We were an assorted bunch with an age range from 60+ down to 27 and we were from all walks of life. Married couples, partnerships and lonely travellers; all shapes, sizes and colour with different beliefs in life.The first night on the train was obviously slightly awkward but within the day we became like family, sharing food, keeping out of the way when necessary, not disturbing each other and most importantly, piling into one compartment to have a party at night! The Vodka did help matters but it was quite inspiring to see everybody getting on well with each other including associating with our "Non-British fellow travellers".One night we went on a "Night Out" to the Dining Car and had a great time! Very soon we started discussing our personal lives and emotional problems and everyone was sympathetic towards everybody else.I couldn't help thinking that this was a very good "Bonding Exercise". Most of us were in tears on the last day and have been in touch with each other since then.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Catherine Dixon. The whole trip was enjoyable and efficiently managed, thanks to Catherine Dixon. I have travelled with Exodus a few times before and with other companies as well, and have met many tour leaders. Catherine was one of the best, without a doubt. She devoted equal time to all of us and in a way acted like a likeable school teacher, but also took part in the fun by being one of the "boys". We were not over-protected and I think that that was very important to some of us veteran travellers. She was exceptionally well-organised, efficient and attentive. Considering that this was her second Trans-Sib, I thought she was quite knowledgeable about the practicalities of this journey. (I know this because I deliberately tried to trip her up by asking her awkward questions!)She has a good medical knowledge of travel associated illnesses, was prepared for illnesses and emergencies and gave us good advice on prevention of illness especially when cooped up for four days in a small compartment and sharing toilets and food!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Trans-Siberian is fun but do remember to travel light! Russia, Mongolia and China are not "backward" countries (in spite of the impression given by the British media!). There is no need to bring the proverbial kitchen sink along! I would suggest that you only bring what you can carry yourself ( a backpack and a daypack). Bring a mobile phone by all means (for emergencies) but do not use it in the presence of your fellow travellers. (Some of us like to feel isolated and away from the realities of life when travelling!)Food and everything else can be bought at the start of the journey in Moscow or in Siberia and in Mongolia. There is really no need to bring 'Pot Noodle' from home. You will find enough of it on the train! (but do bring satchets of hot chocolate and a travel mug) Do bring Roubles and Yuan with you. You can buy them in your local village Post Office! That saves a little bit of time for everyone else who had the foresight to do so! ATMs do work in Moscow, Irkutsk, Ulaan Bator and in Beijing!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Russia, Mongolia and China are vast, with miles and miles of nothing and therefore no medical facilities in between. Also, you are on a train with not many stations in between. Do make sure you are fit to travel.It also helps not to go overboard with the Vodka (none of us did!) especially at train boarding time and at border crossings. There is plenty of time in between!If you are travelling on your own, it makes sense to join up with other members of the group when going out at night in the cities.  
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    Totally awesome!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whale watching trip that we took in Tofino was incredible.  I felt incredibly priveliged to watch those fantastic creatures in their natural environment.  Seeing bears, elk, bald eagles, a moose and a wolf in their natural habitat was also amazing.  All the activities we took part in were really enjoyable especially the white water rafting, mountain biking and horse riding.  Kayaking to an uninhabited island where we spent the night on a gorgeous beach was so much fun and gave a great sense of achievement.  As we approached the island we were joined by several porpoises who swam alongside us for a while - awesome.  The scenery at Mount Edith Cavell was stunning and the Canadians were all so friendly - genuinely so.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was great fun to be with and kept us motivated throughout the trip.  She worked incredibly hard to ensure we took advantage of all the opportunities we could.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that there is a lot of travelling between destinations so a lot of time is spent on a minibus - take music etc to brighten up your journeys.  Take a range of clothes including thermals, hat & gloves even in summer - we experienced freezing temperatures and snow at one point - in August!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was a truly incredible trip that I'll never forget and I made some great friends too.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    great trip thoroughly recommend it but don't underestimate the difficulty - its tough!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Really enjoyed the climb of Aneto  -  tough but absolutely fantastic!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Guide was very knowledgable however she tended to keep pushing on and frequently left people some way behind. There was very little rest and she did not take account of the slower members of the group - at times it felt more like a route march for some people though i enjoyed the challenge!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't underestimate this trip its tough and you have to be fit to get to the top of Aneto but the scenery more than compensates!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A rest day before tackling Aneto would have helped some people. Six days walking with little rest plus two days of 13 hours back to back was very tiring!
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    I'll never forget afternoon tea with my seven lovely ladies

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the friendships and comararadarie that exsisted on the trip, the vital ingredients to this delicious cocktail were seven lovely ladies, Heidi, Caroline, Mickey, Nic, Jo, Louise & Helen that made afternoon tea a different and a way more pleasurable experience, the ten North Walians whose friendly humour always refreshed and the ebulient tour leaders Kim and Paul who always had the correct amount of cheer and professionism with all groups in all circumstances

    What did you think of your group leader?

    If prior to the  trip I had to describe the qualities a tour leader should have. Amongst other vital traits I would list  intelligence, proffesionalism, humour, compassion, efficiency, adaptability, reliability. This is not an exhaustive list of my requirements or the qualities Paul our Tour Leader displayed in abundance. I could not have wished more from a tour leader. Kim as the assistant was a beautifully natured lady who was a constant help and socialised and assisted with all members of the group with a very high degree of aplomb. On top of doing thier job brilliantly, I found them to be both good friends who could be relied upon.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes book up as soon as possible

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Can you believe that in Oxford Caiprhinias are £4.50. I know a lady who can make a whole cooking pot full for that price.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    Kracow - city of the future (and past)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Kracow was a vibrant city that three nights is not enough!. The wonderful mediaeval square(largest in Europe), the inspirational palace in Vavel Hill - going into it was similar to the feeling you get on the first view of St Peters Square in Rome; the Franciscan church was unbelievable modern stained glass windows, Kazimierz- the Jewish quarter and last but not least the emotional experience that a trip to Auschwitz brings.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tomek was great. His knowledge of the history of Poland was extensive.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The cities of Poland are beautiful but do not forget your umbrella in August
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    It's only a ten minute walk and not very steep!!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Can't really decide!  It was a combination of a beautiful location, fantastic sights a great guide and a brilliant group of people!!! And of course topped by Maria's cooking!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was excellent, very knowledgable.  He is obviously very passionate about this part of Spain!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would not hesitate to recommend this particular trip.  The cortijo is wonderful and you are made so welcome.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    wow - what a view

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going on the cable cars and enjoying the amazing viewsMeeting the other group members

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tom was an excellent leader, friendly and professional.  He organised everything so we could relax and enjoy our holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light, having to take suitcases on and off the trains on each journey convinced us we had packed too many clothes. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus should include more of this type of holiday in their brochure.  We found that the we enjoyed the short walks and amazing scenery but we also liked to have time to relax.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    How could each day be better than the one before!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was an amazing trip and we enjoyed every minute of it.  We were so well looked after every step of the way.The Masai Mara was so prolific with animals, we really didn't have to wait very long to see anything and to stay in the camp so close to the animals was a real pleasure.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Davis and Charles were excellent.  They were articulate, well informed and fun.  Nothing was too much trouble.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is a fantastic holiday but quite a lot of travelling if you have young children.  The roads are very bumpy and it is very difficult to read or sleep so the kids tended to plug into their i-pods.  I think it may not be the trip for the under 10's. (based only on the travelling, nothing else).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you have any interest in animals at all this trip is for you.  Chilling out in Zanzibar at the end was very necessary and welcome.The standard of the food throughout the trip was very high.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    A relaxing week!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The yoga as the sun rose in the morning was spectacular.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    none

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was the first yoga holiday Exodus  had run in this location.  The location was perfect, the yoga was great  but for future trips the itinery needs to be less crowded and more time needs to be allocated for the yoga for the full benefits to be maximised!
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    A breathtaking trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery is wonderful. Glaciers, blue sky and superb views of the Matterhorn from different altitudes, at different times of the day.  Somehow the very sight of the Matterhorn is inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.  Good leader. Huge knowledge of trekking and climbing. Easy to get on with.  Felt happy to ask anything.  Good knowledge of the history of the area.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your own slippers for the mountail huts

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Zermatt is a very pleaant town. Lots to do when not walking. Good range of restaurants and shops. Lots of swiss army knives!