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 November 2010
    Anonymous

    TUSCANY SINGLETRACK

    As Tuscany has a lovely scenery, driving though it on a mountainbike is the perfect way to discover quiet places in nature & lovely villages at a pleasant speed.  In the North of Tuscany you find some real “hill’s” in stead of the more rolling landscape more South …. This was at least my feeling ;-)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    At the moment of the trip (9/2009), I was not an experienced mountainbiker, uphill is still a struggle.  So getting at the top of some hills, having a great view followed by a magnificent downhill experience, was a great feeling.   Lunches and breaks were often held at beautifull spots, the team spirit in our group (where most people did not know each other upfront) was great & supporting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rupert did a great job in guiding us through the lovely area.  Every day was different.  The first cycling trip, he encouraged us by bringing us to a certain height by mini-bus.  So we had a great feeling without being exhausted from the first moment. As I am not a very good biker, he sometimes stayed with me and motivated me to do an extra effort.  All with a big smile and without any impatience, so I did not get a bad feeling.  Some days we had to do a big effort to reach a magnificent spot for lunch ... but it was worth every drop of sweat.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Great trip for experienced bikers that want to combine cycling with enjoying a holiday.  Challenging but do-able trip for non experienced mountainbikers. With Rupert as organiser and in the company of a great group of people that like biking & nature, you can really enjoy this holiday.  When the trip is getting too technical & difficult, Rupert knows often a shortcut or easier way for those who do not feel confortable. Accomodation, food & food variation, drinks .... everything was as it should be in Tuscany.  Not a 5 star hotel but so much 'one' with the Tuscan scenery.   Great feeling !  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    LOVED IT !!
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    TUSCANY SINGLETRACK

    My first trip with Exodus, but definitely not the last.  Great location, great acommodation, great food.  Rupert and Angela were brilliant hosts, really know their stuff and made it an amazing holiday.  A fabulous bunch of fellow cyclists - every one of them out to enjoy it and make the most of it.  There was a fair range of ability - but no-one got left behind going up or coming down.  Rupert's hire bikes were good - and he wasn't too precious if you broke them (sorry Rupert!) when enthusiasm got the better of ability.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    An incredible 10 km descent down an amazing twisting, turning, rocky, rooty, rutted, lumpy & bumpy  forest track.  Rider after rider arriving at the bottom ( except it wasn't the bottom - there was still more to come:) ) with the biggest grins you've ever seen and the unanimous declaration that it was the best mountain biking EVER!!!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant.  Nuff said!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There was a lot of climbing - but fantastic views when you got there and, of course, what goes up must come down...  You will get the most out of it if you are reasonably fit and comfortable with handling a bike on rough loose surfaces.  It is not for couch potatoes or the meek, but you will get plenty out of it without being an expert level mountain biker and still be challenged if you are

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My souvenir pebble, handpainted by Zac, has pride of place over the fireplace to remind me of this fabulous holiday! 
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    TUSCANY SINGLETRACK

    Great holiday.  After a number of treks with exodus I though it was time to try something different - I am delighted I chose Tuscany singletrack.  Exhausting ascents, exhilarating descents and excellent scenery. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not falling off!  Sweeping downhill hairpins on tarmac, sweeping downhill hairpins (with cunningly concealed drainage culverts) on forest tracks and being amazed I was almost in control on the singltrack.  Cycling through the beautiful Tuscan scenery interspersed with picturesque villages.  Not to forget stopping off at the lovely cafes along the way for a coffee or other refreshment. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rupert's sole objective was to ensure we had a great holiday.  He knows his mountain biking and every nook and cranny of the local countryside which allowed him to adapt the holiday to suite the weather and the group's wishes.  Rupert was flexible and swapped the days around to make best use of the weather whilst ensuring we could tackle all of the itinerary, this included moving the rest day.  The plan for the day was outlined each morning and then advice was given before any tricky sections were tackled to ensure safety.  I have been on quite a few exodus trips and Rupert is certainly amongst the best leaders I have ever had.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do need to be reasonably fit.  There are a number of tough climbs - but it is not a race and you can take your time, the effort is more then rewarded by the views from the top and then the enjoyment of the decent.  I would describe myself more as a walker than a cyclist, having mainly cycled on tarmac or forest tracks prior to this trip.  Again you can take your time to 'find your feet' on the singletrack sections - or just get off and walk short bits if you wish - but if you do give it a go your confidence will increase and you will be amazed at what you can actually cycle. Take a small rucksack so you can carry your packed lunch and some spare clothing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The holiday is centred on Rupert's family farm which gives the trip a lovely relaxed friendly atmosphere.   The accommodation is very comfortable and the food excellent.  The setting amongst the wooded Tuscan hills is beautiful although the unseasonably cool weather we experienced unfortunately meant we did not spend much time using the swimming pool.  There was a great group on our holiday and we had a laugh - even when cycling in the rain and water spray from the wheels was getting where water should not be able to go!  As with any exodus trip you will get more out if you are prepared to put a bit of effort in. 
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    CAPPADOCIA & THE TAURUS MOUNTAINS

    Turkey was wonderful. Full of history and culture, beautiful scenery and wildlife. The hilday was well organised.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting up with a gun toting, donkey riding shepard and his wolf of a dog, high up in the moutains-- but there where many more!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Local- so he could speak to all the natives, very knowledgable in the history and culture of turkey. Well organised and approchable, very keen to please us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes--- go, but it is tougher than it looks on paper- very high, very wild- very remote.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No-- a very memorsble holiday indeed.
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    DISCOVER THE CAPE

    I thoroughly enjoyed this trip - it was everything I thought it would be and more!  Justin and Anneka were so flexible and keen that we got the most out of the trip that nothing was too much trouble and they were keen to get us involved in as much as possible, which was great!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too much choice but definitely the penguins and whales!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Justin and Anneka were fantastic!
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    NANDA DEVI & TRISUL

    Beautiful scenery throughout, absolutely stunning, however, the holiday could not be described as 'C Grade / Challenging' and it was let down by using very basic hotel accommodation (especially Haridwar which was unfit for human habitation) and problems with logistics (no air conditioned train carriage on the way back to Delhi instead we were put in 'peasant class').

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery which never ceased to amaze, as mentioned above, it was absolutely stunning. In addition the trek crew were excellent, there was no chance of starving!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was good but a little on the casual side, for instance he didn't check that each member of the group had adequate insurance (the first exodus trip for me where this hasn't taken place), he made an error with our return train journey to Delhi (resulting in delays and an unpleasant travelling experience) and he never sent an email containing my fellow travellers contact details even though he promised to do so.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As previous reviewers have mentioned, this is not a Challenging / C graded trek (more like a Moderate), the days are quiet short and the trip looks like it attracts the slower walker (one of them was around the same pace as my tortoise, possibly slower!). If you are prepared to accept this, chill and enjoy the scenery then go for it, it is still a good holiday but if you want more of a challenge, longer days et cetera then book on the Zanskar and Moon Lake trip. In addition, the journey to and from the trek is long, however, it is also part of the adventure and it shouldn't put anyone off from going. The driver(s) were very competent and I felt completely safe at all times.I went on this holiday in early October and whilst the days were quite warm (especially Delhi!) the evenings were cool, overall the temperate was ideal for walking in a short sleeved top and shorts / thin trousers. In terms of gear, take a light duvet jacket with you for the evenings and a decent thermorest, cannot think of anything else!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Please Exodus sort out the hotel accomodation. I appreicate that when you are up in the mountains it is a case of take what you can get (Srinagar for instance), however, in Haridwar and Delhi there is ample accommodation. Before and especially after a trek some decent accommodation is required (something like the Royal Singi in Kathmandu is ideal, not too fancy but clean and centrally located). The hotel in Haridwar was absolutely filthy, bug infested and unsafe (exposed wiring in my room) and I was very pleased that I was only spending the one night there. Please look to book 3 star + or 4 star hotels in future, I don't mind paying extra. 
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON

    I had for some forty plus years wanted to visit the Mountains of the Moon but always found it out of my reach either financially or timewise. When I saw the trip in the Exodus catalogue and the very reasonable price for such remote area trip,  I had to go for it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me the highlight of the trip was the ascent of Mount Baker. After all, this was the reason I had come on this trip. The mountain was not too technical but had enough scrambling to keep my interest up with just one difficult move near the summit. Unfortunately as we summitted, the mist rolled in and we only had tantalizing glimpses of the other major peaks that surrounded us. As we descended however, we did get some great views of these peaks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Josephat the Chief Guide was a very able mountaineer and his knowledge of the flora and fauna was second to none. Throughout the trip he always set a steady pace, helping people when needed over obstacles and keeping the group together and imparting his knowledge of the area as he went.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Mountains of the Moon are muddy! I new this before I went but was still ill prepared for how muddy. The porters all walked in Wellington boots but these can easily get stuck in the mud, I would suggest that a pair of calf high lace up rubber boots with a waterproof gusset would be ideal and keep your feet dry. Another alternative would be Army surplus jungle boots and although  these do not keep your feet dry they would allow you to keep your walking boots dry for the mountain ascent and therefore dry warm  feet. Lots of small polythene bags or shopping bags are also handy as you can then put dry socks on, put a polythene bag over them and put your wet boots back on to wade through the mud at the various camp sites.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The porters on this trip worked as advertised and I had no complaints on that front. The trekking company however has a lot to learn. We were the first big group for them and they really did not understand the ethos of trekking and what should and should not be done. The staff seemed lost at times just to get the very basics of things done. It took hours sometimes just to get a cup of tea on arrival at a camp site. On saying that, the food was generally very good it was just that the camp staff lacked direction. In fact if Nik from Exodus had not been on the trip and chivvied the staff up all the time it might well have been a bit of a disaster. I do however appreciate that all the guys are on a very steep learning curve culturally and I  and others tried to be helpful with advice on what was expected so I hope some of it sticks.
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    PETRA AND WADI RUM LONG WEEKEND

    What a wonderful weekend.  It exceeded my wildest imagination.  Wadi Rum was exceptional, a beautiful place and Petra was amazing.  People were right when they said the pictures just don't do it justice.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Camping out under the stars at Wadi Rum. Wow what a spectacular sight - all the stars lighting up the rock formations.  The friendliness of the bedouin.  This was the part of the holiday I was worried about as I had never done anything like this before - I didn't need to worry as it was so amazing I would go back tomorrow if I could.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader became part of the group instantly.  His depth of knowledge and articulation was such that he enabled us to open our eyes for us to take in everything we were seeing.  Not only seeing the big picture but also the history, feelings and cultural context of everywhere we went.  He was excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't hesitate - book it and you will have a wonderful weekend made up of friendly people, inspirational scenery, good food and all in all a great weekend.
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    TUSCANY SINGLETRACK

    Great trip. Challenging biking beautiful scenery and topnotch family hospitality.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The summit at Pania di Corfino was incredible and we were up there on the best day with incredible views.....who knew you could get a mountain bike up there...brilliant !To be honest all the rides had great moments and the rest day in Lucca was a bonus. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rupert was our group leader he is based in Braccicorti and we were staying in his home. There is very much a family atmosphere with Angela his wife preparing the food and their two children helping to bring dinner outand the whole family getting involved with the group. I was actually quite touched by the way we were included into their family life and it was a privilege to stay there myself and my partner loved it.....and what a beautiful home........As far as the biking was concerned Rupert is very experienced and managed to swap days according to weather conditions etc so that we could get the most out of the week and despite the weather not being great the first two days we completed the whole biking itinerary as advertised which I thought was pretty impressive.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In order to enjoy this trip a good level of fitness is required.There are lots of climbs.Our trip apparently was near 1000m of climbing a day.But of course what goes up must come down and we enjoyed some fabulous descents there are a few technical bits but if you cant do them they are not very long and you can hop off and hop back on the bike again when you are happy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I really enjoyed this trip. There is no doubt about it a couple of the days are quite tough with long climbs so you do need to be reasonably fit to do it.I was the only girl in a group of 9 guys if you include Rupert our guide.I was at the back for all the climbs but the group always waited. I hope I didnt hold them up too much but to be honest it wasnt a problem as a group we got on really well and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so there are plans for mountain biking in North Wales next year. I would recommend this trip to anyone who enjoys mountain biking, great scenery, good food and Italian family hospitality. 
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    TUSCANY SINGLETRACK

    It's an activity holiday, rather like skiing and I loved it as am fairly active. The scenery, accommodation and food were great, so was Rupert and my fellow cyclist who I'd not met before.There are some climbs but all achievable for most regular sports persons and the down hills.............amazing (nice to get transported up 1,000m first though though!)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I've cycled most places in the UK, Glentress, Coed y Brenin, Exmoor, Brecon Beacons, Lake District, Peak District, Aviemore (best in UK) but then there's Tuscany.............. Brilliant.The views were spectacular and the quiet cafe's (~1 euro for a coffee!) for morning and afternoon teas wonderful.No walkers,  no horses, hardly a car all week, just one tractor and loads of goats!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rupert knows every trail there, he's a great guy, and would help anyone. Take your own bike, he fixes it!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are some technical sections, but Rupert gives you options. I had a go..........eeek.The tracks are brilliant, you go through woods, across mountain paths and there's nothing so steep that you can't do it. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you sit at home eating 4,000 calories a day, only do "pretend exercise" and are Mrs Blobby then it's not for you. What is though?If you can cycle, do regular exercise and want something different it's brilliant
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