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 March 2011
    Anonymous

    PETRA & THE PYRAMIDS

    A great tour, you could not fit much more into 2 weeks. Jordan and Egypt both similar in some ways but so different in others. Planes, trains, automobiles, camels and boats, we did the lot. There is somthing for everyone on this tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip was so varied that i am sure each member of the group will have a different moment but for me it was the night climb of Mount Sinai for the sunrise. Eight of our fourteen set out at 01.00 hrs talking exitedly and constantly blinding each other with our head torches, passing shadowy figures of camels and their riders each offering to take you part way up. We made it to the final tea house for 04.00 and bunkered down with a hot mug of tea to help fight off both the cold and the sleep deprevation before heading up to the summit around 05.15 for the sunrise which was fantastic and worth every bit of effort.On a practical note, good walking trainers or boots are fine. The track is mostly firm stone / gravel surface untill the final bit which are steps cut into the rock. Torch or head torch is a must. A good layer system with gloves and wooly hat is advisable as we were told it would be -4 on the summit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I cannot speak highly enough of our guide in Jordan who was Sadam Al King. He was very helpful at all times and encouraged everyone to join in with all of the activities in a positive way without being pushy. He was very knowledgable especially when guiding us through petra. His pride in his country and enthusiasm was infectious.Our Egyptian guide for the Sinai area was not so good and lacked the basic interpersonal skills required and expected to be a guide of a mixed age / interest group.Our second Egyption guide who greeted us at Hurghada airport was proffesional and aproachable and instantly gained the confidence of the group. He was helpful at all times and went out of his way to ensure everyone was informed of what was happening, how it would happen and when it would happen. When it came to the Egyptology he had an engaging and interesting presentation that kept the groups attention at all times. When all was chaos around he remained an oasis of calm.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Tour start 07/03/11 Jordan was sunny but cold due to wind chill especialy night in camp at Wadi Rum, take wind proof layer and a good fleece, Egypt was warmer.Visit to Dead sea is in a secure resort area with swimming pools, shops and cafe all very nice. Take cash in as mud experience as shown in brocure is extra. Take wash gear as there are showers in the toilet block which you will need if you do the mud. You can hire a towell there.Most restaurants in Jordan are dry, make your request to the tour leader if you want one that will serve alcohol but be prepared for the price, we paid about £5 for a can of beer.We were not allowed to take main bags to Wadi rum camp and had to just take basics because you leave the mini bus behind and get into the jeeps, make sure you take a head torch, it's dark in the desert.The ferry times from Jordan to Egypt vary dramaticaly, we went from a possible 10 hour delay to actualy going 1 hour early, tea coffee and snackage on the ferry is very cheap but basic.It's a good idea to arrive in Egypt with Egyptian pounds of very small denominations as getting change is a nightmare at every point. Our rate was £1.00 = EP 9.2 Get rid of your jordan Dinar before Egypt as despite the guide saying that it would be accepted it was'nt. We found it difficult to get currency in the Sinai area before Sharm el sheikh but this was possibly in part due to an unhelpful guide at this point. Always keep small change and notes in your pocket as every toilet requires at least 1 Egyptian pound.Snorkel gear we hired when visiting the blue pool at Abu Gallum was excellent, no need to take your own. The best phrase to stop the sellers was "If i want i will ask, thank you" sounds a bit harsh but believe me, you will break!!!!!!!!!!!!! resistence is futile.All of these comments are intended to be helpful and are not intended as negatives, book up now, you will have a great time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An extra day at Petra would be good as we were made aware that there is a hiking route between "Little Petra and Petra", the scenery was fantastic and lunch could be carried for a picnic out in the wilds before walking up through Petra and seeing the Treasury at the end of the day saving the best to last so to speak.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF EGYPT

    this is such an historical country,our tour guide has an excellent knowledge,which helped bind the tour together.this is a packed  tour done at a liesurly pace.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    the whole tour just got better and better,ending with the sphinx.no matter how many pictures you see of the sphinx,nothing can prepare you for this gobsmacking encounter.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    exceptional knowledge,an outstanding person

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    go now while there aren't many tourists,the museums bieng empty let 's you get up closer to antiquity.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    laa shukran...really is worth learning.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    DELHI TO KATHMANDU

    Fantastic sights, sounds & smells in India-everything you imagine and more. Would highly recommend the extension trek from Pokhara-not too hard walking, and gave us time to enjoy & reflect on the whole trip. Very grounding after the whirlwind of India

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Waking on the last day of the trek to hear Buddhist chanting while seeing the whole panorama of the Annapurnas from the terrace of the Hotel Milan, catching the rising sun ( Eating delicious home-cooked breakfast)
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    EGYPTOLOGY

    Although not a walking holiday, we decided to go with Exodus because our previous experience of the firm had been so positive. We were not disappointed. And, although not without minor blemishes, this was a five star experience, delivering everything promised in the literature.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Pretty much everyhthing. All the monuments and sites are magical in their own way, from the treasures of the Cairo Museum and the various pyramid sites around Cairo, to those around Aswan, such as Philae, and all points in between, such as Edfu, Karnak, Luxor Temple and the tombs and temples on the West Bank at Luxor. The optional visits to Abu Simbel, Abydos and Dendara and many of the additional sites on the West Bank were all, in our opinion, well worth the effort and additional expense. It has to be said though, that we visited at an exceptional time, 6 weeks after the January 25th 'revolution', when visitor numbers were extremely low. I have no idea how crowds would affect the experience, because we never had to face any, even at the most popular sites. A great time to visit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Egyptologist guide, Sayed Mansour, could not have been bettered. From our perspective, his organization of every aspect was flawless. He provided excellent explanations, not only, as you would expect, of the history and archaeology of the monuments we were visiting, but also of the nuances of modern Egyptian culture and politics, even as it was unfolding. He also laid on optional visits not in the programme at times when he could, I guess, have escaped from us for a few hours. Finally, he was unfailingly patient and good humoured. I wish him and his country all the best for the future. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't take travellers' cheques. If you don't want to be overly-pestered by souvenir sellers and other requests for tips, listen to your guide's advice and be hard-nosed. Simply ignore them or say a firm no thank you. Any chink will be exploited, and it can be wearing. Some people, however, seemed to enjoy the attention, and the shopping. We don't like extreme heat and the temperature in March was fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As the literature makes plain, this trip really is for those interested in the sites, but it is not intellectually daunting, merely extremely.., well, interesting. We did not enjoy the night train, not because it was dirty or anything like that, but because it was cramped and uncomfortable, although others seemed to sleep soundly enough. Still, given a blank sheet of paper, I would write out the second train journey, spending an extra day in Cairo at the start, and flying out of Luxor at the end.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    CHAMONIX SNOWSHOE

    We'd been to the Chalet Savoy on a previous summer trip (9 years ago), so it was great to be back in winter (despite the lack of snow lower down). Great accomodation, lovely hosts, fabulous food, just a bit disappointing that it wasn't that snowy - but not much you can do about the weather! (although we still managed to walk in snow-shoes nearly the whole time we were out)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walk up from Le Buet - a lovely sunny day, and great views from the top. Fantastic lunchbreak taking in the view and eating a great packed lunch.Best part of the walking in general was coming down the steeper slopes that had plenty of snow on the them - zero points for style and technique, but a lot of fun!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Oliver is great - full of knowledge about the area. He always knew the best places to go for the best conditions - there were only a couple of short periods when we needed to walk without snow shoes.He is very safety conscious and good at keeping the group together, and making sure everyone knew all the dos and don't to make the trip run very smoothly.Loads of info on what could be done on the day off.And we loved his jokes!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Snow shoeing is quite hard work - I noticed the extra weight on my feet, but maybe that's because I was doing it wrong!The group did have to stick together and walk "in convoy" rather than the "every man for himself on the mountain" approach that we've had on other Exodus holidays - I'm sure this is because it's winter and it's nowhere near as obvious where the path is / there's lots of different routes you can take in the snow rather than in summer / easier to hurt yourself, but if you don't like sticking together and walking at the pace that the leader sets then this might not be the trip for you.We did get all sorts of weather - scorching sunshine, cold winds, snow, and rain as well - so for once just about everything in the rucksack got used at some point.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Chalet Savoy is a lovely place to stay - Elaine's cooking is fantastic - somehow 8 of us managed to finish off a massive cake each afternoon (after a hefty lunch which included more home-baking), and still have room for a big 3 course dinner each evening. Our room was really comfy with a fantastic view, and we miss Nog the cat! So it's a lovely place to go on holiday even if you do get iffy weather!
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    LAND OF THE TIGER

    Land of the Tiger  Tourists expect, travellers experience. Of nowhere is this more true than India.Unpack preconceptions and expectations, replace them with a sense of adventure and a sense of humour!The busy streets teem with life and colour. Ox carts brush flank to wing with limousines, brightly painted trucks play chicken with cycle rickshaws.The flaming flash of tigers moving proudly through the jungle, confident in their own superiority.  Langours lazing languorously in the sun, bemused by four wheeled creatures with clicking cameras. Leopards, deer, jungle cats, wild dogs and jackals. Beautiful birds in blues and greens decorate the trees.All this and the Taj Mahal. A timely reminder of the amazing skills of the Indian artisans. Forts and temples beautifully preserved.Accommodation from 5 star luxury, through to simple lodges, in stunning surroundings, to a basic couple of nights on a train!Throw in the colour and fun (?) of Holi Festival. A warning here for ladies with blonde locks, they will end up pink!A truly wonderful and memorable trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The close encounters with the tigers. 14 exceptinal sightings. Leopards, jungle cats wild dogs and jackals

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Krishna Kumar was a fantastic leader. We cannot praise him highly enough

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are there for Holi cover your hair. Janet didn't and now has pink hair!Research the best time for tigers. March is good as the grass is short and the tigers need to come to the waterholes.Take tennis balls for the children, Better for them than sweets and more fun than pens.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I thoroughly reccommend this trip to anyone with a love of wildlife. You will not be disappointed.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    PICOS PEAKS & GORGES

    A challenging walking trip to a beautiful area that's relatively close to home.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The area around the Picos de Europa National Park has some breathtaking views that I didn't expecting to find so close to home.  I was also pleasantly surprised at the lack of any tourist activity in the area- to the extent that we didn't see another walker for the first 4 days walking (although this was March and still the low season) 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Victor, the group leader was excellent. He tailored some of the trips based on his assessment of the groups ability on the first day. This meant that we saw some views that were additional to the standard itinery. 
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF NORTHERN INDIA

    India is beautiful, so much to see! Great weather! Great food! So many wonderful things to buy - clothes, spices, souvenirs!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day was amazing. Got to see the tiger up close! Elephant riding, lots of sight seeing, the boat trips by the Ganges were also quite interesting with so much going on, prayer ceremonies, cremations, people going about their daily lives bathing, washing clothes etc etc

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was very knowledgeable and passionate! Gave us lots and lots of information on everything! He got on well with everyone in the group and made sure eveything went smoothly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Beware of the dreaded Delhi belly... don't go crazy with the spicy food!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are the sort of person who likes an activity packed holiday that keeps you busy then you will love this trip!
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    THE INCA TRAIL

    Generally a very enjoyable trip. Plenty of great memories and photos!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking through the sun gate on the last day of the trek to suddenly see Machu Picchu in all its glory.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very helpful and friendly. Dealt with all pitfalls including being stranded at the train station at Machu picchu after a landslide. Still somehow managed to get us on the last train back to our hotel in Cusco!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trek is suitable for anyone with any degree of basic fitness. Don't forget to bring a headtorch for the evenings as it gets dark early and a spare battery for your camera. When it rains it pours so a waterproof cover for your backpack is must.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared for very basic facilities whilst camping and not having a shower for many days! However the cook on our trip wowed us every night with some great food after a long day. Greatly appreciated!
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    WALKING IN ANDALUCIA

    Really enjoyed the daily yoga.  Cortijo Rosario was in a lovely location, lovely open fire in the evenings. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The daily yoga, wonderful way to start the day for a walk.Seville on a sunny day, shopping and tapas was a nice change from the trek.Enjoyed the later treks when I decided to go at my own pace and admire the views as I went even if this meant being way behind and inconviencing others in the group. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Friendly and informative.  Sometimes remote and reserved.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't think it'll be warm in March in Spain - quite cold for the first 3 days!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although I enjoyed the holiday, I found this experience to be not as enjoyable as other Exodus trips.  It felt like there was an element of being frugal in these economic times creeping in.
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