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 May 2012
    Anonymous

    EVEREST BASE CAMP - Expedition Trek 11 - 30 April 2012

    Having dreamed of trekking to Everest Base Camp one day, the chance not only to do so but to sleep there for 2 nights was the main reason for selecting the Expedition Trek.  I was not disappointed and would recommend it to anyone.  The extra cost is more than worth it for the experience of a lifetime.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many moments along the trek that it is hard to pinpoint any particular element of the trip.  Anyone who has avidly read any of the books about Everest and her neighbouring peaks or the stories of expedition groups attempting to summit these ranges will be in their element as the trek to Base Camp takes in some of the key areas mentioned in so many of these books.  For me, Tengboche Monastery and Namche Bazaar were particularly moving to visit and the fact that we followed the same route Hillary and Tensing took to Base Camp made it even more poignant especially with next year being the 60th anniversary of their summit.The trek is by no means easy and there are some difficult and steep passes to conquer on the way but this makes the arrival at Base Camp even more of an achievement.  There is so much to see along the way, and as you pass through or stay at the various settlements and teahouses you gain a real insight and understanding of Nepalese life and a respect for the local people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were lead by the amazing Valerie Parkinson, who not only happens to be the Exodus Asia Base Manager, but more impressively, the first British woman to summit Manaslu without oxygen and, in her 50th year, ascended to the South Summit of Everest (8761m).I had been lucky enough to meet Valerie on two previous occasions at Exodus slide evenings - both after her return from Everest - and knew that if I was going to do this trip, that it should be with Valerie not only to hear her accounts of her time in the mountains but because I knew that I would be in good hands.Having Valerie as our Leader made the trip even more special as she recounted tales of her many trips in Nepal and India in addition to the amazing story of her time on Everest and Manaslu. There were one or two health issues along the way which she dealt with quickly and professionally with minimum fuss or impact on our holiday experiences. Nothing was too much trouble and she and her team looked after us from the moment we arrived to the day we departed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are planning to do this trip:-do the training beforehand - the trek is not easy, there is difficult terrain to deal with along the way, steep climbs, steep descends, narrow passes and high suspension bridges.  On average, you will be walking about 6/7 hours per day and you will be tired by the end of it.  Hill walking or steep stair walking would be good to get your leg muscles developed sufficiently.make sure your boots are broken in and you have the right equipment - it will be hot lower down but it will get very cold further up - don't skimp on the technical clothing.  There is a weight allowance which applies to your kit bag on trek (you can carry as much weight yourself in your day pack as you like although I would keep this to the bare essentials - 7 hours of a heavy pack is not fun!) - making sure you have the right technical gear means that when you do have to wear your socks for 3 days straight (oh yes you will!!!!) they will not stink the place out when you take them off!if you can, get your visa before you go - it saves a long queue at Kathmandu airportdon't forget your sun screen and sunglasses - you will need both of these for most of the trek and in particular at Base Camp where the sun's glare is very strongpack at least 2 Buff scarves - the terrain gets very dusty along the way - it may not prevent the Khumbu cough but it might help it a little and it will also be invaluable in Kathmandu to stop you inhaling all the car fumes!go with an open mind and heart - Nepal is an amazing country with the most kind hearted, generous, hard working people - get to know your sirdar, climbing sherpa and the other local team members (including the Yak boy!).  Not only will you find out more about the Nepalese culture and way of life but will enhance your holiday experience so much by chatting to them.keep smiling - there will be times when you question whether this really is a holiday but persevere - you would never return from a fortnight in Spain with the memories, sense of achievement or new friends that you will from this trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Enjoy it!  I wish I was coming with you!
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    DISCOVER BURMA

    A brilliant trip exploring a fascinating country in the process of political change. The lovely , friendly people really deserve their freedoms.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Shwedagon pagoda in Yagon [Rangoon] at sunset- breathtaking golden architecture to admire in a secular manner but also a place of real spirtual meaning.The thousands of 11th century temples in Bagan- one of the wonders of the world.The begging monks and the teak monasteries.Inle Lake: photogenic fishermen and fascinating craft shops for top-grade shopping.Visiting the lovely friendly people in their rural homes.Saying 'ming-guh-la-ba' [hello] to absolutely everyone.Delicious, freshly cooked meals and freshly squeezed fruit juices.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Australian group leader, Scott Jones, was outstanding: humorous, ever patient, knowledgable and efficient.Our Burman guide, Nay Win, welcomed us to his country and was an ace on the history telling.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be careful to bring absolutely crisp American dollar bills. You are told this in the notes-- and it really does matter. $100 bills get a better rate. We all changed $300 to start with and this was OK as long as there was no splurging on big souvenirs. Some extra dollar bills kept aside would pay for the latter.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you want to visit a really fascinating, lovely place just at the start of its touristic history-- then go soon-- and go with Exodus.
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    INDIA GRAND TOUR

    I believe that we were able to experience Incredible India not only due to the length of the trip but due to the organization of Exodus and the leadership of the group. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment of the trip were many but the caves at Arangabad were unbelievable. The boat trip on the Ganges river with Sitar players and with the burning crypts in the background was a unique experience. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The tour was lead by an excellent guide who was attentive, looked after people's needs, and basically spent 24/7 with us ,well beyond the call of duty. There were a few repeat travellers who used Exodus in the past on other trips which speaks for itself.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We did not pay enough attention to the temperatures prior to leaving. The trip was in January and relatively cold notably at 7000 feet. We would highly recommend the trip but be prepared for 3 overnite train rides that are not comfortable and therefore tiring. There are long bus rides which also take a toll on your body. Whis is part of the experience going thru villages, it is taxing. At the end in the South you have time to catch up and relax .The other disappointment was that we expected to lose 10 Lbs. because of the spicey food, unfortunately we gained 10 Lbs.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I woud say that if you could reduce the overnite train rides, at least schedule them at a better hour the trip would be less gruelling. Maybe even cut out part of what you see to make it easier. Out of the 10 people on the trip there were only a couple who did not have issues. 
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    INCA TRAIL, TITICACA & NAZCA

    Way to go Exodus! effortless, stressfree travelling! (apart from the Inca Trail that is)  I cannot believe we saw so much of the country (and learnt so much as well), anti plano, mountains, desert, coast, off shore islands and rainforest. An absolutely perfect holiday! Our guides were brilliant, we were met at airports and taken back to them as well.  Nothing was too much trouble.  Will definately travel Exodus again.  Many Thanks

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Inca Trail which was the reason for going. What an experience and fortunately the weather was good.however second would be learning about the anti plano and Lake Titicaca and meeting some of the local Imara Indians.  So many memories i could go on forever.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Carlos was excellent and very attentive. We were a little nervous i think at first and he sensed this and kept us entertained.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Use Exodus, read the trip notes and enjoy!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    just a very big thank you for a holiday of a lifetime!
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    INCA TRAIL, TITICACA & NAZCA

    This was my 1st Exodus trip and I would definatly go on another.  The trip was really well organised and I loved every minute of it.  There is a lot of travelling, but it's worth it and the treck was an amazing experience. An expensive holiday, with some expensive extras, but the prices on the tickets justify the price Exodus charges.  The only negative was probems with the connections onthe way home.  For anyone wanting to do the Inca Trail the extras on this trip are really worth the extra time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trail was the reason I booked it and I wasn't let down by it.  Amazing views

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Really good.  Very knowledgable, could answer all questions and very patient

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    CYCLE INDOCHINA & ANGKOR

    even if your not an experienced cyclist you'll be amazed at how much you have covered in miles and thought

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    seeing all the children welcome you to their villages

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Al was fantastic he had alot of patience as i tend to linger at the back, i was always taking photographs

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    don't be put off trying to keep up with the group, you soon catch them up at the next stop and there is always somebody behind you to show you the way

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great cycling holiday lots of milage but well spaced out with lots of time to visit and chat to the locals
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    CYCLE THE BACKROADS OF SRI LANKA

    Sri Lanka is a country with beautiful scenery, delicious food, lovely weather and friendly people. What better way to see it than by bike? The cycling was just as described, moderate to challenging and the 3 days in the middle of the holiday are certainly on the challenging side and very rewarding as a result.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing the 100km ride from Kandy to Nuwara Elia up a 2000m climb. As I’m not much of a cyclist it was much longer and steeper than I ever imagined. Also being about 10m away from a wild leopard when we went on the safari.  This apparently was a very unusual sight. Also, climbing to the top of Sigiriya Rock. This rewarded us with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh was always very helpful and put our comfort and safety above everything else.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The quality of the hotels we stayed at varied greatly from lovely to rather poor. Also everything seemed to close at 10.30pm, even the bars/restaurants/hotels, so if you want to eat and drink go early or go hungry and thirsty. Not such a bad thing when there are many 6am starts.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The holiday describes “Terrain and route: 95% tarmac, 5% unsurfaced road” which in my opinion is a bit of an exaggeration. Many of the “roads” for long stretches were nothing more than potholes in one particular direction. Whilst it no doubt had once been surfaced that was a long time ago and it had not been maintained. To be honest the unsurfaced roads were generally smother and nicer.
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    WALKING IN MADEIRA

     Exactly what was described. Great variety of comfortable walks to all the places you would want to go in a week with a knowledgeable and practical guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

     On the first walking day we went out on the Sao Lourenco peninsular. The weather was at its best and the volcanic landscape and the wild Atlantic added up to a breathtaking experience.  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andre was knowledgeable and passionate about his island. He was patient and adaptive changing the itinerary when the weather intervened and spoilt the original plans.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It can rain in April (and presumably at other times) so be prepared for cold mountain tops and wet weather. All the nice wine from the supermarkets came with real corks so take a corkscrew!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You won 't have a lot of time to take photos on the walks so set to auto and fire away and sort out the rubbish later. The levadas are fantastic works of engineering and the tunnels on the walk to the waterfall are low so don't bash your head. Admire all the empty motorways linking the island's small villages by tunnel and viaduct. Enjoy your Euro Billions at work!
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    LAND OF THE TIGER

    A truly memorable trip offering the opportunity to see and hear a wide variety of bird and wildlife in three of India's National Parks. Excellent opportunities to see the main drawcard - tigers!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Witnessing a tiger approach a small water hole along a dry river bed and then drinking from it only metres from our jeep. Then followed by a second tiger minutes later! Only 4 or 5 jeeps present making the experience even more magical.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Krishna was an excellent group leader: professional, knowledgeable and patient at all times. He brought so much more to the trip through his knowledge and love of his native country, enriching the tour with details of society, religion and food and drink as well as an incomparable knowledge of bird and wilidlife.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy the experience! It's a privilege to experience these animals at close quarters and worth taking some time away from the frenzy of getting the perfect shot to simply enjoy the presence of the tigers.
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    EVEREST BASE CAMP

    This was my second Exodus trek to EBC. Another brilliant trek, excellent guides and sherpa's.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Actually camping and experiencing EBC with other climbing teams. Summiting Kala Pattar, and Nantkarshang, both over 5100m mountains.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Val Parkinson - what can I say that hasn't been said already? Her enthusiasm for the Himalaya is infectious, Valerie is never to tired or otherwise occupied, to answer questions and talk about her experiences. She clearly cares about the Sherpa staff we had with us, and is clearly very popular with the Nepalese lodge owners, who all know her by name; the three sherpa's - Chewang, Lapka and Yuba were superb, and great company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Lots - go slowly, you will get there; drink plenty of water, at least 4 litres a day. Last time I did this I didn't drink enough and struggled.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The holdalls provided are not fit for purpose, mine ripped before I had booked it into Heathrow. The strap came away and tore the fabric. Why not have some bags made to the same standard as Mountain Equipment holdalls, saw loads on thetrek, have one myself, never let me down.The luggage label for life - isn't. Mine broke, as did nearly everyone else's. We saw lots of other trekkers, identifiable by their hats, T-shirts, etc, all with their travel companies logo's emblazoned on them; how good would your trekkers look at Base Camp all wearing an Exodus T shirt.Also, a distinct travel label for hand luggage would be good, as fellow Exodus travellers can identify one another at the point of departure. 
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