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 July 2011
    Anonymous

    CORSICA: THE GR20

    A great trek if you're fit and able to cope with some reatively easy scrambling. We enjoyed fantastic weather and 2 weeks of wall-to-wall sunshine. Rain would have affected route choice and could mean that some days are spent in a taxi and the bar. Accommodation on the GR20 is very limited and finding it meant detours off the GR to towns leading to plenty of descent and reascent on a few days - there is no real alternative other than a tent.  Take advantage of the rest days!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Scrambling in the Cirque was great but the final day views above Bavella were unforgettable, with bright sun on the ridge leading to mist rising up the pinnacles on descent to the final night's accommodation.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Barbara had just recceed the route and this recent experience was a real benefit. She shared a lot of knowledge about the flora of the GR and this added real value to the trek. I thought she did well to get such a large group with mixed experience and abilities through the scrambling sections.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If youre a vegetarian dont expect too much other than pasta and (if youre lucky) omlettes - be flexible otherwise you may not eat much. Everyone should bring munchies as the breakfast is simply too insubstantial for the morning ascents. Bring a cheap pair of flip-flops for the huts. You can probably get away with a lightweight sleeping bag.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A highly memorable trek in good company. The trek notes for the ascent of Monte Cintu need to be corrected to give a realistic time for the ascent and decsent.
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous .

    SPITSBERGEN EXPLORER June 2011

    To say it was an amazing trip does  not do justice to the sights and experiences we enjoyed. All the normal superlatives sound mundane. You'll just have to go yourself!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many - seeing polar bears in their own unspoilt environment; the stunning scenery and panoramas; the seabird cliffs; the Zodiac cruises amongst the ice floes; experiencing true wilderness and absence of human impact; plus lots more!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very professional and a true leader in every sense. Expert, inspirational and authoritative yet able to relate to people at all levels.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Can't think of any except to take note of the Exodus trip notes and clothing advice. Very sound!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It wasn't just the leader, Dave Wood, who was so good, but the whole expedition team. Experts in their field, experienced in handling the equipment (and people!), they did their best to ensure everyone enjoyed the experiences to the full.Mention must also be made of the Vavilov and her crew: a very stable and expertly handled ship with comfortable cabins, warm and scrupulously  clean with a friendly and helpful crew. Could not be better!
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    THE AMALFI COAST

    This was a stunning walking holiday! The walks were fairly challenging (we didn't find any of them leisurely to be honest) but totally doable, with the most amazing views, and we all loved it. The combination of walking, sightseeing at Pompei and the option of a beach here or there are just perfect. Highly recommended!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    * Sitting at the top of the mountain on our first day, with THE most amazing view of the whole of the Sorrento peninsula, enjoying our lunch and feeling proud of ourselves for making it to the top.* Getting to the beach at Amalfi at the end of day 2 and 4, after LOTS of steps and lots of tantalising views of what lay ahead (a refreshing dip in the sea!).* Going to Pompei and seeing the amazing ruins. Walking around this ancient town and being able to imagine what life was like in those days. * The Walk of the Gods was truly the most awsome walk I've ever done. Stunning scenery once again and just all around fabulous.* Getting to make a Neapolitan pizza and seeing Giovanni cook up a delicious 3-course dinner for us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suzy was a great group leader. Not only did she makes us all feel safe (very important in these mountains), she also knew lots of interesting things and was really flexible to what we needed and wanted (we seemed to have a penchant for the beach, as opposed to the cathedrals, and she made it happen oh so easily!). She was also an excellent table-football player and all-round good sport.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your walking poles, proper hiking/mountain boots and light and loose clothing when you go in the summer (we had fantastic weather in June 2011 and it did get very hot). Some people brought water pouches and found those very useful (you do need a lot of water on these walks!).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think we all agreed that this should be marked "moderate" and not "leisurely/moderate". It is a fantastic holiday that I would highly recommend. The area is beautiful and the walks you've picked are all great. Not too long (the longest was 11K) so plenty of time for breaks and rest (and opportunity to take photos), and all of them different in some way. The family run hotel is really nice and the food is delicious. You even get a peek in the kitchen and join in the preparation of it, which is great fun. We all felt very welcome in the hotel and nothing was too much trouble (they even had free Wifi). And although we all would have loved for there to be a pool, we always enjoyed coming back to it at the end of a long day.
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    THE INCA TRAIL

    Truly the trip of a lifetime! The whole trek from start to finish was very carefully thought out... the guides, the team and the scenery could not be beaten!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are so many!Reaching Dead Womens Pass (with the help of the guides Disnardal and Wilson after my daughter had been sick ALL day!) On the third morning getting up to see the sunrise over the mountains.Getting my first glimpse of Machu Picchu.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Disnardal was absolutely amazing.....very knowledgable and passionate about her country and it's amazing history. Disnardal always made sure our group were happy, had everything we wanted/needed and she made sure we were clear on what was expected of us at each stage of the trek. The assistant guide Wilson was equally amazing, very patient, without him and Disnardal my daughter would not have conquered Dead Womans Pass!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Only take local currency (nuevo soles) we ended up having to visit the bank quite a lot (my daughter loves shopping!) We understood that the dollar was an accepted currency, but you never know what the rate of exchange is!Take walking poles, I was really grateful for mine!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is made possible by an amazing team...The Guides, I really could not praise enough, both Disnardal and Wilson brought the Inca's to life.The head chef Hernande and the assistant chef Alesandrjo, who each day produced hot, delicious meals (in the evening a 3 course meal!) The food really enabled us to keep trekking! The fresh soup was amazing!The porters did such a fantastic job, without any bother or fuss, our camp was dismantled before breakfast was finished, when we arrived at the next site our tent was ready to go!I would like to praise the poor porter who looked after our toilet facilities he did such a sterling job under difficult circumstances!!!
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    WALKING IN TUSCANY

    Arrive at Braccicorti, get out of the mini-bus and just stand and admire THAT view. It's truly stunning. Then be greated by the genuine warmth of "Mamma" - her smile delights - and her cooking's not bad either!!Trek high in the mountains, enjoy picnic lunches looking at the terracotta villages with their church towers way below and enjoy that cold beer on the descent.A rather special place.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching those high peaks giving such rewarding viewsThe charming villages with geraniums spilling from every window boxWaking in the morning and just listening to the birds singing, distant church bells and the hum of the combine harvester somewhere in the valley.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz was a gem.  A real star.  Fit as a fiddle, practical, an excellent driver and her love of the job and location showed.  She looked after us so well, ensuring we all had adequate water and clothing as necessary.  We enjoyed her company very much and admired her stamina as she really does work hard.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walking can be quite tough in parts - take poles if you have them they certainly help. Good trail shoes or lightweight boots are a must as some of the paths are uneven.  Don't think about wearing walking sandals - your toes will be cut to ribbons!It's all very casual at Braccicorti so travel light.  A torch is necessary for the trot along to "Il Grotto" on the free evenings.. and do try their ravioli with ricotta in a walnut sauce.Plenty of lovely local produce to try, buy and bring home so don't overpack going out.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go on a diet before you spend a week eating Mamma's delicous food.
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    DUBROVNIK & THE DALMATIAN COAST

    Sunshine and laughter, warm seas, cold beers.  Peaceful idyllic islands, hectic Dubrovnik.  Cutural, classic and unhurried.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The serenity of Mijet Island National Park.The hustle and bustle of the "cruise ants" around Dubrovnik.Food, glorious food - freshest seafood, crispy pizzas, gooey pastries, gelato of every flavour imaginable!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dalibor was excellent, professional and efficient.  Underwent his duties with care, consideration and with hissense of humour

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't bother taking Kuna's - you'll get a much better rate of exchange once you're there.Travel light - it's all very casual.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have liked an extra night in Trogir, a really pretty harbourside old town.We all ate together every night, which although great fun we did pay the price - not in Kuna's however, just the length of time it took to for meals to appear, but hey ho we're on holiday and when it did arrive it was scrummy.  We just had to have another glass of wine whilst we waited - no hardship there!Croatia is still very unspoilt in parts, beautiful islands, bays, scenery and people - a world away from your "bucket and spade" brigade.  Hospitality was generous and gracious.Put it on your "to go" list - and make it soon!!
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI

    Trip in June 2011. Well exceeded my expectations and worth every hour of overtime done to pay for it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are so many.......family of 7 cheetahs, family of 4 leopards, lioness carrying cubs, cheetah carrying cubs,early wildebeest crossing the Talek, breakfast with the hippos and sundowners under the stars. Kicheche Mara camp was exceptional,Bruce, Donna and the boys were fantastic hosts.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Has to be experienced to be believed.Psychotic enthusiasm. Shouts a lot but only because he wants you to do well and get the most out of the trip. Detailed knowledge of the Mara and animal behaviour makes for the best possible opportunities for photographs. Encyclopaedic knowledge of foul jokes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't go if you can't get up in the morning or want to whinge about travel arrangements in a 3rd world country. Take a hat and suncream for long days outside. If you couldn't cope with being called all the names under the sun when Paul gets excited about something then don't bother going. It is meant well and if you can't see this then forget it. Beg steal or borrow all the camera gear you can.I recommend lensesforhire.co.uk if you wish to try a big lens but don't have the funds to buy one. I got a canon 300mm 2.8 with a 1.4 converter as i am a bit puny for a 500mm and was very happy with it. I also took my own 70-300mm zoom and a wide angle with polariser. I borrowed another camera body to avoid faffing with lens changes and it was worth it. Tripods NOT needed. Beanbags supplied. Lots of chewy sweeties help to bribe the big man.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Having paid a premium for this trip i thought there was to be a max.12 in the group but there were 16. This may well be my mistake, in which case apologies, but i thought it significantly limited more intense tuition with Paul. The group were all lovely and got on very well which made the trip even more enjoyable.
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    SPITSBERGEN EXPLORER

    I went on this trip with the hope of seeing polar bears and we were extroadinarily lucky to see eleven. But it wasn't just the bears that made the trip a great one, it was the other wildlife, the magnificent scenery and the extremely knowledgeable and approachable experts on board.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a polar bear kill a seal and share it with her two cubs.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Woody, the group leader was excellent, always informative and with an added sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind and engage with the 'no schedule' ethos.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would thoroughly recommend this trip not only to anyone who loves polar bears but also to lovers of spectacular scenery, clean air and socialising with like-minded individuals.
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    SPITSBERGEN EXPLORER

    Other than the trip notes, which did not fully match the itinerary, the trip exceeded all my expectations in terms of wildlife sightings, amenities on the ship, expert knowledge of the staff in their respective fields and in the meals provided. We were blessed also with excellent weather and the most placid of seas.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably that first sighting of a polar bear in its natural surroundings.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leaders (Woody and Paul) were extremely knowledgable of the wildlife we sought and where we were most likely to find it. They kept us entertained and given that many were novice photographers on a photographic cruise, the general photography presentations and tips from Paul were most welcome.  

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want to see Arctic wildlife in a spectacular environment, want to get ashore frequently to experience some of it close up, want to be educated on the wildlife and scenery, want a full day (in constant daylight), all from the comfort of a great ship, then this is the trip for you.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip notes should be made more general. If you are not going to follow an itinerary then don't publish it. Otherwise it raises people's expectations unnecessarily. How many people bought postcards in Longyearbyen on the first day with the expectation of posting them in the world's most northerly post box? Yet we were never going to Ny Alesund. You should simply say in the trip notes that the prime aim of the trip is to see as much wildlife as possible and in as many different sites as possible, but that we may visit all or some of the places below if conditions and time permit.
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    THE TURQUOISE COAST

    This was a very enjoyable trip, a small group and the guides were excellent - very knowledgable and enthusiastic - ensuring we all picked up (a very small) amount of Turkish and a lot about the history and culture of Turkey.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip to Arycanda was magical - great views and fantastic history, followed by a meal with the site guardian's wife, which was the best food of the trip (and standards were generally very high).  All the walks were fantastic and May was a great time to visit - hot enough, without being sweltering and all the flower meadows were in full bloom. Kas itself was also lively, without being crowded at this time in the early season. Sea kayaking was also great - as a novice, I was a little nervous, but the guides were all very experienced and inspired confidence. A great day out, with plenty of rest stops and not overly strenous - anyone of resonable fitness should be able to manage it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were spoiled as we had two group leaders (one being trained) for a group of 5! Alison the group leader was fantastic - an ex pat with great insight and a real enthusiasm for the history of Turkey and its culture. Very sociable and charming both and really could not be faulted at all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Only have a small amount of local currency in case you want a snack at the service station/rest stop on the transfer from the airport (a service station with a swimming pool!), but they will take Euros. Change the bulk of your money at the Post Office in Kas for a much better exchange rate that available in the UK or  Dalaman airport (which is the worst rate of all!).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This part of Turkey is fantastic. The scenery was stunning and the people very friendly. The food was also a great surprise and I would definitely think about a return trip. Great value for money and a great holiday, with some superb walks along the Lycian Way.
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