Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18266 Reviews

  • Reviewed October 2007

    The Haunting Music of Monument Valley

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip to Monument Valley, led by Jimmy, our Navajo guide was magical.  The Navajo guides take you to places not permitted  by other guides, so it is worth the effort to try to get the servces of Jimmy.  He enjoys explaining about his life and culture and will answer any questions you may have.  He carries with him a drum and a wind instrument, which he plays when you arrive at a special location.  We have all seen Monument Valley in westerns but nothing prepares you for the sheer size of the sandstone rock structures, their beauty and power.  That was the highlight of the trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was enthusiastic and did everything to help us throughout the journey.  She chose wisely for our picnic lunches and the good selection meant there was something for everyone.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I travelled In October, a good month to go, but ensure you have warm and cold weather clothing with you.  It was hot in Las Vegas but colder as we travelled elsewhere.  It snowed overnight when we were at Bryce Canyon.  This was great as we revisited and took more photos.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend this trip, it may be short but you see and do a lot.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    I loved tibet

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think there were loads of inspirational parts to the trip, I have been wanting to go to tibet for years and years and finally going meant a lot to me.   But I think bits that stick out most are Ganden monastery as it was so much quieter and felt really alive and Everest Base camp because we had perfect weather.  There are loads more aswell.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I thought Gum was a brilliant group leader, he was efficient, organised, very amusing and was great at mixing in with everyone and relaxing with us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read up on tibets history and culture before you go as it will help to understand a lot more of whats being explained in monasteries and temples.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    thanks for an awesome trip, i'm so sad to be back in england now and really want to go back and spend more time in both nepal and tibet.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    Ice, Zodiacs and Bears

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sailing through the ice and being very close to a mother bear and her two 7 month old cubs was an unforgetable experience.  We had a fantastic view from the ship, recorded by hundreds of photographs over a few hours as the cubs played like youngsters unperturbed by our presence.  Binoculars were not needed as we were so close. A few days later we were able to see humpback whales feeding, followed by gulls and us in our zodiacs.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This was a special trip led by Paul Goldstein and our Expedition Leader was David ' Woody' Wood. Both men are inspirational and experts in their own field.  Their drive, sense of humour and fun had us all hanging on every word.  They were a double act ,who were simply brilliant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of clothing that can be worn as layers as it can be cold sitting on a zodiac.  The main problem is cold feet through wearing wellingtons a lot if the land is very wet.  Two pairs of socks at least are needed.  Try taking warming gel packs which heat up when exposed to the air.  Some clingfilm is also useful as it can be wrapped around an activated gel pack to deactivate it, as cutting off the air supply cools it down for use in the future.If you travel with the airline SAS be aware that you need to buy food on board and they only accept Euros, Norweigen currency or credit cards.  You must pay even for a glass of water.  The choice of food is poor and not very nice.Shops in Longyearbyen will accept credit cards or US dollars.  The museum is worth a visit.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am a well travelled persion and this is the best trip I have ever done.  The ship is warm, comfortable with excellant food ,serving good choices and vegetarians will have no problems. The experience of travelling in a zodiac is exhilarating and all the staff are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. I would recommend this trip.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    One of the most memorable trips I've ever done

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I guess that when most people think of Peru they think of Macchu Picchu.  Whilst this was undoubtedly the star of the show (it will definitely live up to all your expectations) there is so much more to Peru: stunning Andean scenery, clourful and friendly people, surprisingly delicious food and the amazing amazonian rainforest.  If you want a taste of what Peru has to offer but only have 2 weeks, this trip would be hard to beat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Leader was excellent.  Friendly, easy-going but well organised.  The trip ran smoothly and followed the itinery with very few delays.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a hat and plenty of sun-screen for use in the Lake Titicaca area.  At the high altitude the strength of the sun can very easily cause sunburn if you're not careful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For a real challenge do the 1 day trek on the Inca Trail from Km 88 to Macchu Picchu.  There may be times when you question your sanity (I know that I had several of these moments) but the view of macchu Picchu from the Sun Gate (not to mention the feeling of acchievement when you get there) is unforgetable.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    hard work but worth it

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    standing on top of aneto on a perfect daymountains and lakes appearing through the mistflowers everywhere except the bare rock

    What did you think of your group leader?

    helpful and encouragingI would have liked a bit more local knowledge - but that's just me

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    travel as light as possible. One day has 6 hours uphill, 6 down then a killer up to get to the refuge. No-one is going to worry if you don't have clean clothes every day and there's not a huge amount of time for reading unless you're very antisocial. But you do need to be prepared for cold and wet - our first day was in cloud and temp went down to 3.5C (in July)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    the Pyrenees are a great place to go, the scenery is varied and always fantastic - if you like that sort of thing!  This trek goes through a really good part but isn't a doddle,  though it is well planned in leading up to the hard 2 days
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    how long until the next bus arrives?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the quantity and variely of animals at the waterholes in Etosha National Park 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Experienced, knowledgeable, professional

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In the winter season (our summer) Southern Africa can be very cold. Pack a jumper/fleece, hat and gloves.   The need for this was not clear on the Exodus dossier.  The tour leader stronly advised those without to buy these items on day one - not necessarily what you want to use you spending money for!  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Vehicle failures caused the loss of two days, and marred an otherwise good holiday.  Visits to sites listed in the Trip Notes were cancelled and could not be rescheduled.  In a country such as Namibia where travel is along dirt roads I would expect delays due to tyre problems and puctures as did happen.  Hoewever, I would not expect two major breadowns on  consecutive days on two different vehicles.    
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    Hilltribes, Hanoi and Halong Bay

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most inspirational part - Truth be told there were so many.  The friendly nature of the local Vietnamese; the beautiful green landscape  in the Hills; the overnight train journeys and the accompanying refreshments to help pass the journey; the anarchic energy of Hanoi; the sheer beauty of Halong Bay. Great country and a great trip. Good to experience the contrast between the hustle and bustle of Hanoi and at the other extreme the tranquil beauty of the land inhabited by the Hill Tribes. Ying and Yang.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was excellent. He would have been even better if he accepted that rice wine might not be everyone's favourite tipple! Friendly, patient and approachable. An excellent ambassador for Vietnam.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Vietnam - Go! Great tour, great country. Excellent insight into a fascinating country.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Only regret - I didn't get an Acopalypse Now T-Shirt from the bar of that name in Hanoi!  Could do with better flight times - waiting 7 hours for the connecting flight back to London in Kuala Lumpur was no fun.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    Watching the sunset on the North Face of Everest from Rongbuk Monastry was a unforgettable experienc

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As a life long lover of mountains the first views of the 8000 meter peaks from the top of the Gyatso La (5,280 m) were literaly just breathtaking  - a line  of the worlds highest peaks to gaze at and identify. Walking with the pilgrims around the  temple Kora paths is a an intensely moving experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellant - Prem  Gurung is a great ambassador for Nepal and Exodus

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Spend some time watching the Tibetan people  in Barkhor Square - a truly fascinating experience.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Visiting Tibet and Nepal has been one of the great experiences of life and i would recommend it anyone with a taste for the worlds highest mountains and its people.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    Unforgettable Umbria - scenery, history, food, wine, walks - this place has the lot

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think this has to be one of the most enjoyable Exodus trips I've been on - and I've been on a few over the years.  Umbria is a beautiful part of the world and Spoleto is a really nice town.  For me and my husband the part that will stay in our memories was the day spent in the Sibillini Mountains and the walk across the Piano Grande; we were lucky in that the weather was clear and sunny with blue skies and white fluffy clouds, and the flowers were out in abundance and stretched across the whole of the Plain as far as the eye could see.  I don't honestly think I've seen views like it - particularly from the cross above the village of Castellucio (a bit of a hike to get there but well within the group's abilities and we really did feel that we were on top of the world!)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was a Danish guy called Morten who was simply brilliant.  He got things done (and problems solved) with an unassuming manner and a quiet confidence.  Nothing was too much trouble and he went out of his way to ensure that everyone did all the activities they wanted to, even on the free days.  Our group gelled really well and I feel sure that a lot of this was down to Morten making sure things went smoothly.  A great asset to Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do eat at Osteria del Matto in Spoleto - it's a bargain and the food is fantastic.  There's no menu - they just bring the 8 or so courses out as they're cooked and you eat them.  Simple.  No decisions to make and you never end up looking at your neighbour's plate and thinking "I ordered the wrong meal again .. his/hers looks much better".  The ingredients are bought locally that day and cooked superbly by the owner's mother and sister - a real taste of Umbria with warm hospitality.  Plenty of the locals eat there, so you know it's good and authentic.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wasn't over-impressed with the Hotel Clitunno.  It looks brilliant on the surface but some of the rooms were a bit tired and I found the service to be a bit lack-lustre.  We had problems with hot water in our room (i.e. it was cold a lot of the time) until it got sorted out on about Day 4 - not something you want on a walking holiday in a hot country!  The food wasn't very good either, and we all complained about it to Morten after our first meal there.  He did what he always did though - sorted it out and had words with the management.  The meal on our last evening was a very different experience.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    Salad and sand

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I had absolutely no idea what to expect.  I spend most of my time working with paths, people and vegetation, so I liked the idea of going somewhere where there weren't too many of any of these, and I loved it.  Wide skies, sunsets, so much life in an arid environment.  Oh, and camels are just brilliant!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohammed was great.  His early morning lesson sessions drawn in the sand were fascinating - and the bottle of bubbly and cake in the desert on Hogmanay were a lovely touch.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Camel wool blankets may smell awful, but they protect you from cold and condensation at night in a way that fleece and down can't!  The desert is much easier to walk on than you might think.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I just loved the food.  From fresh salads rustled up in the desert for lunch - with cool tomatoes that really tasted like tomatoes should, to the 'interesting' stews that we ate in the dark around the camp fire with freshly baked Sahara bread, it was all good - and the use of the cooking utensils as musical instruments by our 'chameliers' after the meal was welcome and entertaining.A great holiday - and good company too.  Everyone got on really well.