Turtle, Ecuador

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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 2012
    Anonymous

    LAKES & MOUNTAINS OF SLOVENIA

    This trip was absolutely fantastic, it gives a chance to mix a walking holiday with seeing such a beautiful and relatively undiscovered part of Europe.  Each day is packed with beautiful views, walking can be challenging at times but you are rewarded again and again with the scenery on offer, even the airport had pretty mountains views!  For me it was a perfect combination of a group organised walking trip but with some free time mixed in.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Slovenia itself - it really is the most beautiful country!  I have been to many stunning countries across the world but Slovenia really surprized me, such beautiful scenery, on my doorstep really, that i knew very little about.  My favourite day was when we summited Golica and you walk with one foot in Austria and one foot in Slovenia, such pretty scenery, a little tough at times but i could have sat taking in the views at the top for ever and ever.  Saying that though every day was fantastic, we had a great group of people and lots of fun.  Even the free day which i choose to spend sunbathing and swimming in Lake Bled, as it was over 30 degrees, which was pretty special too.  The trip had everything, great walking, stunning views, some free time and a fantastic bunch of people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had 2 leaders, David and Micah and they were such great guys.  Very knowledgeable, with a real love and pride for their country and wicked sense of humour too.  They were very good judges of character and took the time to make sure everyone was looked after and really helped to make the trip as good as it was. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The food portions everywhere are huge - one of our group ordered deep fried cheese for a starter on a night out - and it came with a side serving of chips - for a starter!!  Lovely soups and cakes too - good job it was a walking holiday!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just that i can't wait to go back to Slovenia - normally i'm already planning my next adventure somewhere new on the flight home but i would love to go back to this country.  I wish i'd added a stay in Ljubljana onto the beginning or end of the trip as the people who had or went on the free day loved it, but that just gives me the perfect excuse i need to go back!
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    TOUR DU MONT BLANC

    We had a great mix of people in our group - very cosmopolitan, young and old, with an international flavour and a wide range of hiking expertise. There was a great sense of camraderie where those with greater experience helped and encouraged those with less experience. This might have frustrated those with more 'individualistic' attitudes but this was a group holiday after all so teamwork is important. Less experienced hikers responded well to the general positivity and grew in confidence as the week progressed. This is a physically demanding trek and enjoyment will definitely be enhanced by having a good level of basic fitness. A rustic element is part of the overall experience so be prepared for dormitary sleeping facilities for 3 nights, but this was very nicely counter-balanced by staying one night in a comfortable hotel midway through the week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were 2 stand-out on a personal level during our trip:While all 13 members of the group successfully completed the demanding 1-week itinerary, special mention is due to the oldest member of the group, who, at 75 years of age, was an absolute inspiration to everyone, some of whom were less than half his age. Another group member whose pre-trip training was severely curtailed having been hospitalised for pneumonia 2 months before departure showed utter determination in admirably defying the odds to get up all of the most challenging ascents and just never gave up.There were coutless moments of scenic inspiration. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Graham, a top-class guide, did an excellent job. He managed the spectrum of ability in the group very skillfully so that everyone successfully completed each days' walk. He was gently engaging with everyone and did not insinuate himself socially in any excessively imposing way. He had helpful suggestions and advice on clothing options, and gave regular tips for cost-saving measures when buying foodstuffs to take with you each day. He had a great knowledge of local terrain and prevailing conditions which gave a very comforting sense of confidence to all of us. At the end of each day he did a summary of our progress with the aid of a map, and sumarised what to expect on the following days walk. All of this greatly added to our sense of enjoyment.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect luxury accomodation on route - it is adequate and appropriate to the rustic nature of what you are doing in the surroundings you are in.A good basic level of fitness is highly desirable. It is physically tough but not excessively so for those with a reasonable level of fitness. Although challenging, it is relatively short. I would consider it a good preparation for those considering longer treks of a demanding nature (such as the GR 20 in Corsica or Everest base camp).Those with a sense of sociability and teamwork will find this more rewarding than those with strongly independent, individualistic attitudes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food is pretty basic and relatively unexciting - gourmet food enthusiasts will not get the opportunity to indulge their tastebuds much over the course of the week! Nevertheless we had one vegetarian in our group and his needs were more than adequately catered for.
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    WALKING IN TUSCANY

    We went on the 'C' grade week. It was a wonderful holiday amid spectacular scenery. The accommodation and food were excellent and the organisation faultless.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just sitting at the top of a mountain and seeing nothing but more mountains in every direction!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader organised everything with great efficiency and nothing was too much trouble. She was friendly, helpful, very encouraging and her knowledge of the area was extremely good.
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF NORTHERN INDIA

    There is simply no other way of seeing this much in 10 days without the incredible organisation that went into this trip. The perfect introduction to this fascinating country - a real taster that made me want to go back (which I already have a few times)!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Varanasi was by far the most incredible place I have ever been to and very different from everything we had seen before so perfect for the end of the trip. Watching India beat Pakistan in the cricket was good but the celebrations and seeing everyone so happy was a definite highlight too!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jito could not have done more - friendly, extremely well organised with lots of extras up his sleeve. He made it look like India was one of the easiest places to get around but after a day by ourselves, we realised he really had a tough job to arrange everything perfectly for 16 people!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Hand gel, a good book and a discreet camera!Be brave and haggle more than you've ever dreamed before ... lots of fun!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Yes there's alot of time in the bus and yes the roads are bumpy so it isn't exactly comfortable sleeping time but it is the only way to see everything in a short space of time. Good to be prepared for this but it doesn't take anything away from my great memories!
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    KILIMANJARO & SAFARI

    This was an amazing trip and experience from start to finish. All arrangements went like clockwork, and we were well looked after throughout. I have so many great memories from the trip, and the whole experience is going to be with me forever.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is hard to choose as there were a few: the good humour of our crew from the African Walking Company stands out though, especially Musa our guide. Summiting obviously, but the camaraderie that got us there just as memorable. The banter in the group as we walked, and the wonderful views and scenery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    In many ways Musa made the trek for us. He was enthusiastic, energetic, thoughtful and a good judge of character. He was also very funny!! His 'faffing' as he deliberately stalled so that everyone could catch their breath without it being obvious (well until we had twigged this was what he was doing!). He was intent on this being the best possible experience for us, and worked very hard to make this happen. When my husband needed to go back down the mountain Musa took him down, left us with the assistant guide, then RAN at least part of the way back up, meeting us close to the summit, which was a great boost for the rest of us at that point.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to really want to do kili, as it is as much a mental as physical challenge. We were all really positive, and buoyed each other up through that long summit night. Try and take some surplus clothes and bits and peices for the porters. Even though Exodus contributes to the Porters Assistance Project  it was obvious how poor these guys are, and how much they appreciate the tips and equipment and clothes we left for them. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Food was great throughout the trek (not so great at Kili Mountain Resort Hotel tho'). I don't know how they managed to cook the delicious three course meals we were served. The matresses we hired were well worth it as they were quite thick - and needed to be on that stony ground. A decent day pack which takes the weight on your hips and not your shoulders is essential. Be prepared to be dusty the whole time and take plenty of wet wipes.Safari was great too, and also a good way to have time to absorb your Kili experience. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy...
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    IMPERIAL CITIES & COAST

    An ideal way to discover Morrocco if you are thinking of returning for a more relaxed vacation at a later date. Once you have done this trip you will have a good basic idea of the Country and where best to spend your time

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Souks at Fes and Marrakesh are something you just have to do. A great experience !      Essaouira is like the fishing village (small version equivilent) of Marrakech. Quite windy at times but well worth a visit and great if you want to sit on the huge beach or go for a swim

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohammed, the tour leader is a very relaxed and friendly tour leader. He seems to have a great deal of respect amongst the locals in the Cities we visited and i quickly became very confident walking through the streets with him. Good local knowledge, he's perfect for this trip

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Eating in restaurants, even hotel restaurants, is no guarantee that you will avoid the almost obligatory stomach upsets. Be prepared for this. Street food if chosen carefully is fine. I ate delicacies and fresh fruit from the souks with no ill effects, but others were not so lucky simply eating restaurant food. As said, be prepared..This is a six day route march ! Your on the move a lot and all in very hot weather. forget the 'your need something warm for the evenings' advice in the trip notes. I took a fleece and it was simply wasted space in the case and earned me a wry smile from the guide!  DO take a small rucksack, you will need it. Good sunglasses and a wide brim hat are a must. Oh, and a book ( MP3 player might be better for those long coach rides ) 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Apart from Marrakesh and Essaouira you are on quite a tight schedule. Annoyingly, you don't get time to stop and wander in the souks in Fes, Medina or Rabat apart from where the guide has scheduled a shopping 'event' at one of the pre arranged shops.You have several long road trips, and a rail trip, and you may not want to listen to the guides 'talk' for all of the journey. If you haven't fallen asleep, the MP3 player or book will help drive/drown out any distractionsVolubilis is a ruin of a Roman ruin. It is by no means a Moroccan version of Pompei so don't get excited. Great views, but not much else and in a very sad and overgrown condition. You have to tip the local ruins guide even if you don't go round with him and i still know next to nothing as to what the Romans were doing thereAvoid Essaouira in late June if you don't want loud music into the early hours and crowds of noisy teenagers. Its their annual rock? music festival and the hotel we stayed in was about 500 metres from the stage. The music was great, but if thats not your scene, forget it !   Its a great fishing town but you won't see it at its best at that time of the yearFor better or worse, Health and Safety isn't a big issue out there, so make sure you know your fire exits in all the hotelsWhen you get to a hotel get hold of one of their hotel 'cards' with their address and contact details on. Keep it with you and if you get lost, show it to the local taxi drivers and your get back okFinally, don't go near the snake charmers in Marrakesh, they are experts at getting you to have your picture taken with the snakes and NO is a word they don't understand right up to the time where they then try to charge you £30 for your pictures.   Watch them from a distance, the snakes are less slippery than the charmers !
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    KAYAKING ON THE TURQUOISE COAST

    Perfect weather, great food, lovely group, good balance of activity and free time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Paragliding - Views over Kas were great, really recommend giving this a go if you haven't tried it before. Awesome location with plenty to look at.

    What did you think of your group leader?

     The guys worked hard, we had a few tricky moments, especially on the first day - we were lucky to have 2 GPs in the group! English wasn't their first language, and only the primary guide spoke "good" English. There were times where a bit more detail of where we were going/doing would be helpful. We had a briefing in the mornings and evening, but during the activities it wasn't always clear where we were heading (particularly whilst paddling) Generally the trip ran smoothly, and we were well looked after.  

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

     Try Kayaking before you go - make sure its right for you.If you have kayaked before, request a Single Kayak it will be more fun.Take a good pair of Beach/Sea shoes - the beaches aren't generally sandy, the pebbles are often red hot and the rocks are sharp. You will need to be able to climb over rocks when landing the kayaks and getting to the camp sites.Take good insect repellent - high percentage deet based stuff worked well for me.You don't need a lot of clothes, but a good hat and rash top is a must if you burn easily.Camping wise - you don't need a sleeping bag - its far too hot for it (June). Good sleep mat is required the ground is hard and rocky. Take a waterproof camera and a means of attaching it to the Kayak so you can't loose it other the side.There is no mains drinking water anywhere on the trip, so bottled water is the only option. Take Rehydration sachets with you and use them for the first couple of days. I used a 2l camelbak on the Kayaks worked well for me.If you are a gadget person, there weren't many places to charge phones etc, the boat had some power - but one of the hotels had working power sockets. So I suggest taking a powerpack with you. I was travelling on my own and I don't drink - £200 spending money worked out perfectly including all additional meals, soft drinks and paragliding.   

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do it...
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    PEAKS AND VALLEYS OF THE ATLAS

    This completely exceeded my expectations.  I was expectinga dull dusty landscape but the beautiful terraced valleys, charming villagers and wonderful weather made for an incredible experience

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    doing my third 4000 metre peak within 1 week!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    moustapha was incredibly encouraging and supportive.  When I fell over once he was immediately there to check me out and check I was ok.  He always found a way to support slower members of the group too.  He was also very knowledgable, and personally ensured we were fed every day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    didn't need any insect spray at allyou do actually need iodine water tablets for once (I ignored this as this is on every kit list - luckily other travellers had spares!)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I felt so much fitter when I returned.  Thanks
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    KILIMANJARO CLIMB - RONGAI ROUTE

    If you are looking for a challenge, then you should definitely do this. It gives you a great sense of achievement to make the summit. It was a fantastic experience that leaves you wanting to do more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Easy - the most inspirational moment was getting to the top of Africa. That's what it was all about.A close second was saying thanks and goodbye to the guides and porters. They sang a beautiful Kilimanjaro song for us, and it was then that you realized just how many people were supporting us on this trip.... carrying bags, putting up tents, peeling spuds and most importantly, looking after the porta-loos. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emanuel was our group leader and he was fantastic. He had the right balance of humour and professionalism. He quickly gained our trust and we knew that listening to him meant increasing our chances of getting to the top. Top marks, despite the fact that when you asked "how far?" the reply was always "don't worry, we'll make it in time for tea"... 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Think positive and you'll get to the top.  Keep drinking and snacking on summit day - It was easy to forget to do this and my water bottle froze. I was jealous of the camelback with insulated tubing. Even a neoprene bottle cover would have made a big difference.Hire the Exodus sleeping mats - You don't need to worry about carrying them and they looked so much more comfortable than anything you could buy.Bring a nail brush - The grey volcanic ash gets everywhere. Bring US dollars - Small and big denominations. Credit cards were only accepted at the airport. Bring more than you think as tipping the guides and porters becomes quite an emotional event and you don't want to be short when this happens. Bring walking poles x2 - Turns out that they are not just for "old" people ;) They stayed in my bag for the first 4 days, but they were a life saver when skiing the scree on the way down.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Rongai route at the start of season was a pretty good choice IMHO. We did not see many other people, except for the way down on the last day. This gave it much more of a wilderness and adventurous feel. Can't promise you'll get weather as good as ours though. No rain for the whole trip - sweet. 
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    KILIMANJARO & SAFARI

    Amazing and Beautiful are the words i would use for summerise this holiday! you meet some amazing people - the guides the porters all amazing and they make it there goal to make you make the most of your holiday - really worth the weight in gold! then to top it off the beautiful sights, the beautiful aminals and beautiful food!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The group photo at the top, everyone, seeing everyones faces as amazing

    What did you think of your group leader?

    they were TOP from when we landed at the airport to the moment we left took off - couldn't do enought to for
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