Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18336 Reviews

  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    Getting to know you, Romania!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many fine moments: the pleasure of getting to the top of Moldoveanu, the highest peak in Romania, with its splendid views over the Fagaras range; the rollicking descent from the ridge of the Piatra Craiului; the cultural visit to the attractive town of Sibiu on one of our rest days... All in all, for me the 'inspirational' part of this trip came from the discovery of a beautiful country that is still lingering a bit in the past.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Just as on other Exodus trips I have done so far, both the leader and the guide we had in Transylvania were very competent and helpful. With a long experience of self-reliance, I hesitate when it comes to placing my trust in someone else's judgment, but all the leaders I have known have preferred to err on the side of prudence, and that is reassuring. I found all our Romanian team very friendly and a pleasure to walk and live with, even when the pace was sometimes unrelenting! Our cooks, too, did a great job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Since the heavier personal luggage is carried by four-wheel truck from one campsite to the next, I think one can afford to carry a reasonably light rucksack each day. If I were to do the trip again, I would reduce the weight to a day-pack, with a two-litre hydration system, and just put in the usual essentials: food, good-quality yet compact protective clothing, personal medical kit, etc. The days can be long, the climbs can be steep, so the less one has to lug around the better.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Distances in the Carpathian mountains cannot really be compared with what we are used to in Britain or Ireland. They are truly long, and longer still when the weather is as hot as we experienced it this summer. Now and then, one has to dig deep. Then again, on the kind of holidays we take, that is hardly surprising and who wants to change it?
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    Where is the Matterhorn?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We had very good weather so it meant we had some brilliant views of the mountains at all stages of the walk

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was excellent.  Looked after the group really well. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some of the accommodation was pretty basic.  Remember to take ear plugs for the dormitories

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great addition to the list of trips available
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    A Splendid Walking Holiday

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A really good walking holiday, based in a super little village in a really scenic valley

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A dedicated full-time walk leader with vast local knowledge and an obvious empathy with the area and the local community. He ensured that the group enjoyed the holiday to the full.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The harder walks are taken at a steady pace.. The views are spectacular and the Mountain Hut lunches really special. If you are reasonably fit and used to ten mile walks back home go for it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Hotel and the whole holiday were excellent value
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    Holiday of a lifetime- never to be forgotten!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, the whole holiday was a complete inspiration!   The variety of activities, means of transport, visiting different cultures and seeing different landscapes, all within one holiday was a complete surprise, and far exceeded my expectations.  I am reliving every minute of it as the weeks go by.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Rob Allen, made this holiday so memorable for me.  His enthusiasm for the country he has chosen to make his home was completely infectious, and his organisational skills cannot be faulted.  He went out of his way to give us the most varied, informative and enjoyable holiday ever.  Faced with a change of itinerary towards the end of our holiday, because of the devastating earthquake on 15th August, he went out of his way to find an alternative venue for our last few days in Peru. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be put off at the thought of the Inca Trail!  I'm a reasonably fit & healthy 50 something year old! and was very nervous at the start of the trail, since I was the only women in a party of 7!  However, I soon found my own pace and thoroughly enjoyed the challenging 4 day trek.  In fact, I can't wait to go on another!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I normally groan when being bombarded with holiday brochures, but can't wait for the next Exodus one to pop through my letterbox!
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    Just magic!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Fantastic views, challenging climbs and terrific company!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you like a challenge then you will love this trip.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    The uphills are a killer - but worth every minute

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day in the Spanish Pyrenees started with a 4 hour climb in hot sunshine. I have to admit to a bit of a sense of humour failure (and sunburn) at about hour two, but the long sweeping descent through wild flower meadows and across beautifully cool rivers was just stunning, and the mornings pain was soon well forgotten.Every day there was always the promise of a cold beer at the end, enough to keep anyone pedalling!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very down to earth, it felt like he was one of the group, rather than an 'us and him' mentality. I think he found the hills a bit of a struggle too, but showed immense patience with my slow pace both up and downhill! He also didn't seem to mind my abuse at making us climb for FOUR hours!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It will hurt if you're unfit, but don't be worried if you haven't done much mountain biking before - somehow terrain you would never have contemplated back home seems possible. Our group was of varied ability, but we all managed the same routes, if at slightly different paces, and if it got too tough you could always get off and walk that section.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Chalet basic but comfortable, food excellent and lots of it.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    An amazing experience

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Kas, itself

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was good fun and familiar with all the routes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of suncream.
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    The Best Trip of my Life

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I took a Trans-Siberian trip from Moscow to Beijing, via Mongolia, in July 2007. I would say that it was the best experience of my life and the credit goes to Catherine Dixon, our trip leader, the local guides and of course to Exodus. Catherine’s vast experience of travelling, local knowledge, and friendly nature made the trip a memorable experience. I was worried about my vegetarian food arrangement, especially in meat eating countries like Russia and Mongolia, but I had the best vegetarian food of my life in this trip.  Your selection of local guides is also amazing. Their stories, local fables, smiling faces, and countess toasts, all have added so much to the experience.  The best memory of this trip is interaction with local people. Living alongside nomads in Gers in the dessert of Mongolia and home-stay in Nicolai’s cottage in Siberia is an experience that will forever stay with me. Thank you so much for arranging such a beautiful trip for me. Each and every penny spent on this trip was worthwhile and I would not want to consider any other company for my future travelling. I just hope you will live up to the expectations:-) Shumaila.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing Person. She managed to diffuse all the tricky situaitions in the group. handled the group dynamics very tactfully. helped me in numerous occassions. she was the star  :-)
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    Great trip...shame about the food

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the mules.  I loved the high level of demanding physical activity, very tough but enjoyably challenging.The settings for some of the wild campsites were stunning.  The sky at night was amazing.  We were lucky to be there during the meteor shower in August.I really enjoyed the nice Italian restaurant close to the hotel in Marrakech!  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was always supportive, with a good sense of humour and incredible patience.  He and his assistant were good at group management, which was difficult due to the wide range of fitness of the group members.  One of them was always with the weakest members (either due to fitness or illness), sometimes more than an hour behind the rest of us.   He was also happy to let the fitter ones go on ahead when there were no issues with route finding, so the fast ones didn't have to be unhappy walking very slowly.  His experience and excellent knowledge of the area enabled him to be flexible with the itinerary when poor weather and unforeseen travel problems necessitated making changes. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of  snacks!  In fact, take some of those back-packing meals that just need water added to them (for when you get sick of cous cous).   Take garlic, take ketchup, take salt and pepper, take chili sauce.  Take your own tea bags, unless you are not going to mind mint tea twice a day every day.Make sure you are as fit as you can be!  I have done a C/D with Exodus before, and this seemed much harder.  Has the trip been undergraded in order not to put too many people off?  I appreciate that if it is graded too hard, then not enough people will sign up, and the trip may not run.  It could be argued some members of our group lacked adequate fitness, although to their credit, they battled on with great determination and even got up Toubkal.Take wet wipes...lots.  Be prepared to wash in a cold stream (body and clothes), or not at all.  Take a little travel clothesline. Take anti-bacterial hand gel.  Don't underestimate the amount of mammalian excrement everywhere on this trek!Be prepared for lack of privacy.  Even with all the wide open space available, the tents were always put up only inches from each other! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although the information about the trip warned the food would be very 'samey', we still weren't prepared for the poor quality of what was on offer.  At first, the food was a novelty, and we ate because we were hungry.   The £100 local fee should have provided better than boiled carrots and potatoes on pasta, with the occasional chicken or goat thrown into the tagine (although the chickens were excellent).  I stopped having the same curried water soup for dinner after a week.  After 2 weeks, I refused all over-steamed vegetables (ever seen a GREY courgette?).  By the time we reached Toubkal, I was rejecting almost everything, and only got up the mountain on my breakfast porridge and a tin of Pringles.  Considering the spices that Morocco has available, alot more of imagination could have gone into the cooking with little additional expense, even considering the limitations of the local ingredients.  We would have been happy to pay a bit more in order to enjoy the evening meal.  Lunches in general were better quality, but again, always the same.  Buy the cook a decent cookbook (although his bread was very nice).  Vegetarians, be warned.   
  • Reviewed October 2007
    Anonymous

    better than turkey and Christmas cake!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Fantastic scenery, great way to push the fitness levels, but what struck me the most was the constant support and advice of the other participants and the group leader.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    great fun and very supportive of the weaker members of the group or people with problems

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go for it! Practise some hill training if you can, there are a few steep ones!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great way to spend Christmas!