Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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2452 Reviews

  • Reviewed November 2019
    Leesa Hodgson

    Tough but Rewarding

    A great trip with challenging cycling & beautiful views

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The encouragement of the group towards one another when cycling became difficult

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had great tour leaders in Sanjay & Manu they were lot's of fun and had great knowledge of the area & the culture.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for plenty of hill climbing, which done at a steady pace is achievable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Wonderful trip never to be forgotten. Even though we were off the beaten track for a few days, evening meal times were great fun and the food was excellent. Summary of our trip: We were very fortunate to have a fantastic group of 14 people to enjoy the sights and sounds of India with.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Paul Griffin

    Bay of Bengal to Arabian Sea in about 500 smiles

    This was such an excellent trip from start to finish. We experienced all types of weather from baking hot sun to cyclonic rain and along the way were constantly amazed by the friendliness and generosity of the local people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without a doubt the guided tour of the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple where we witnessed Bullock and Elephant in ceremonial costumes in a procession.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shekar was great, organised everything and sorted out a visit to a chemist for me when things got a bit awkward.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You will drink a lot of water whilst cycling so take something to put in it for flavour as it gets a bit dull after a while.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Coralie Cubitt

    Cycling in Laos

    This trip delivered everything it promised and more. The scene was set on day 1 with our warm-up ride around Chiang Mai and a visit to to monastery where our guide, Rit, had spent 10 years as a Buddhist monk. We travelled through some breathtaking landscapes - kart mountains, jungle, paddy fields and wonderful villages where delighted children would run out to greet us. Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang were charming.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The undulating landscapes in northern Laos especially on the Udomxai to Pak Beng day. Having breakfast in Pak Beng as we watched elephants bathing on the other side of the Mekong. Walking through the small streets of Luang Prabang.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rit is an exceptional and inspirational group leader. His training as a Buddhist monk is evident in his calm and thoughtful approach and his endless patience. He responded to our endless questions with clarity, honesty and humour. He is an excellent cyclist but encouraged us to enjoy the ride and cycle at our own pace which alleviated any stress.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do need to be reasonably fit to enjoy this trip. The most used word in the group was ‘undulating’ which was how Rit would always describe the next section we were to ride. It is quite hilly and the weather was often hot and humid. However, there was no shame at all about taking time out in the minibus. It is a wonderful trip and covers a lot of ground.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are one or two sections on very poor roads with a lot of lorries travelling between Thailand and China. We had been warned about this. Whilst those sections were sometimes unpleasant it is the only way to see the remote areas as there are few roads - and this is the reality of modern-day Laos.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Coralie Cubitt

    Cycling in Laos

    This trip delivered everything it promised and more. The scene was set on day 1 with our warm-up ride around Chiang Mai and a visit to to monastery where our guide, Rit, had spent 10 years as a Buddhist monk. We travelled through some breathtaking landscapes - kart mountains, jungle, paddy fields and wonderful villages where delighted children would run out to greet us. Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang were charming.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The undulating landscapes in northern Laos especially on the Udomxai to Pak Beng day. Having breakfast in Pak Beng as we watched elephants bathing on the other side of the Mekong. Walking through the small streets of Luang Prabang.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rit is an exceptional and inspirational group leader. His training as a Buddhist monk is evident in his calm and thoughtful approach and his endless patience. He responded to our endless questions with clarity, honesty and humour. He is an excellent cyclist but encouraged us to enjoy the ride and cycle at our own pace which alleviated any stress.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do need to be reasonably fit to enjoy this trip. The most used word in the group was ‘undulating’ which was how Rit would always describe the next section we were to ride. It is quite hilly and the weather was often hot and humid. However, there was no shame at all about taking time out in the minibus. It is a wonderful trip and covers a lot of ground.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are one or two sections on very poor roads with a lot of lorries travelling between Thailand and China. We had been warned about this. Whilst those sections were sometimes unpleasant it is the only way to see the remote areas as there are few roads - and this is the reality of modern-day Laos.
  • Great trip

    This was a lovely ride through a beautiful part of Italy. I liked the fact that we actually rode the distance from one beautiful city to another (rather than bus transfers). This did mean that it was a rush to check in, shower and be ready to join Michele for the evening meal he organised each evening but for me, that was a price worth paying for the cycling place to place. I think Michele did well organising good, mid range restaurants. Our guide Michele's home town is Vicenza, so he knows and loves this region - especially Vicenza! The route was well planned to use cycle paths or quiet roads, so always a handy coffee and lunch stop.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not one moment to single out, but the cycling generally through such a lovely part of Italy was my highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele was a very knowledgeable warm and inspiring guide. I believe he added greatly to the trip by his enthusiasm for helping us to see the best of his home region. As we were travelling to join the trip, I started coming down with a chest infection, and wondered whether I should opt for an electric bike. and having talked through the terrain with Michele, I stuck with a bike rather than opting for an electric bike. I was so glad I did but was wavering slightly. Having discussed what cycling we were used to, Michele encouraged me to cycle. It may have been easier for him to steer me towards an ebike, but he helped me choose what was better for me.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring your own snacks for during the day if that is important to you, but there are coffee stops along the way. We were very lucky with the unseasonably lovely weather, so my rain jacket was unused, although best be prepared in case.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The choice of hotels was a little disappointing, particularly ( sorry Michele) the one in Vicenza.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Stephanie Clare

    Excellent mix of history, scenery and cycling

    A great introduction to Jordan with the two main bases covered: Wadi Rum and Petra, with a healthy sprinkling of cycling in-between.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery in Wadi Rum closely followed by Petra.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ab (Abdullah) was excellent: extremely knowledgeable, courteous, and with a great sense of humour. He was always approachable and understanding - nothing was too much trouble for him. Despite the unscheduled changes on our trip (a flooded hotel and an overnight change in law re cycling trips), he worked through these issues, communicating regularly, and we completed all the activities we were scheduled to do, albeit in a different order. He was incredibly hardworking and never seemed to be "off-duty". He was in every sense a true professional. For us, he made the trip and is a credit to Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As a couple we only spent 450JD (we didn't really buy any souvenirs as none of them really interested us and a lot of it was very similar). Our 3/4 season sleeping bags were unnecessary for Wadi Rum, just a liner or lightweight sleeping bag would have been sufficient when we were there in late October - check temperatures before you go for an idea. We didn't use that many of our own snacks as our guide was great at providing these and it was something different everyday. You don't need your own bike repair kit as the team mechanic is following behind you. As others have mentioned there isn't a huge variety in the food, but there is plenty to eat. Remember to take a water bottle, the one disappointing thing about Jordan is the amount of plastic rubbish you see littering the sides of the roads. Finally the cycling was more ascent and descent than we had anticipated from the trip notes. The cycle at Wadi Rum is flat, the rest isn't!
  • Reviewed October 2019
    David Couzens

    India Hill Stations

    Wonderful cycling, wonderful scenery and wonderful guides.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The people on the trip. A fantastic group of people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sanjay and Manu were exceptional. Two fantastic leaders. If you're lucky enough to get them on your trip you'll have a great time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The cycling is tough but rewarding. Make sure you get plenty of hill climbing practice in. You'll also need to be confident in traffic as the standard of driving on India's road leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Lazzaro Amanzio

    Porto to Lisbon bike tour October 2019

    It was a great tour along Atlantic coast with good weather, many good views, excellent guide and driver and great&fun group.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day we arrived in Nazarè with beautiful views of the ocean and of the beaches.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ruben (our guide) was great. Always smiling and having a good word for every person of the group. He supported the all group very efficiently and in a friendly/professional manner.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some bike training is recommended before to start the tour due to some hilly parts and eventually rent an e-bike to have full fun.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would like to mention Tiago (our driver) for taking care of all the logistics and food along the all week in a very professional and friendly manner.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Eileen Cowling

    Wadi Rum and Petra cycling

    We throughly enjoyed our cycling trip to Jordan. Gave us a fascinating insight into a completely different culture. Unique and amazing cultural sights and enjoyable cycling through stunning desert landscapes. Our guide was excellent and gave us so much information on Jordan. Hotels and food generally OK. Although we would recommend this trip it is more of a sightseeing tour with opportunities to cycle rather than a predominantly cycling trip. There is quite a bit of coach travel but this is well worth while to see the breath of the country covered by the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra, floating in the Dead Sea and the overnight stay and jeep ride in the Wadi Rum.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Very knowledgeable and keen to inform us on the country. Worked very hard to ensure we enjoyed our trip despite some issues that arose that were outside his control. Socialable and engaging with the whole group. Went that extra mile.b

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring Mosquito spray for the overnight stay in the Wadi Rum. Think about buying a Shemagh (traditional bedouin headdress), as well as being stylish it's very effective in keeping the sun off when walking around.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Andrew Moncrief

    “The best tour so far”

    A really enjoyable trip with a charismatic tour leader, and superb scenery, wildlife and food. The support team were great, always trying their best to look after you, and the driver had nerves of steel negotiating the chaotic traffic. Sri Lanka has emerged from some dark times, and is once again a terrific place to visit, with great variety and vibrancy and a lovely, friendly vibe. Plenty of smiles and high-fives as you ride through the landscape, shouts of “Bye!” Following you down the road.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Fantastic, often unexpected, wildlife encounters! Seeing how elated my wife was after becoming Queen of the mountain at Nuwara Eliya ! (Good battery life!)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Top man! Suresh was a great guide, knowledgeable and organised to a fault, forever considering the needs and preferences of the individuals in the group. For example, knowing I was keen to get in the waves, he arranged an early morning tuk-tuk so I could fit in a surf prior to a late departure-a real bonus! He has tweaked and finessed the itinerary over the years, and has established a wide network of contacts to create authentic and unique experiences for the clients. No spoilers here, just enjoy the value added!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t expect to lose any weight on this trip, despite the activity-the food is amazing! There are LOTS of dogs alongside and on the road, most of whom are docile, but some really don’t like cyclists. We were chased on a few occasions , and I would have felt happier if i’d had a rabies vaccination before the trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    E-bikes! Three of our group had these, transforming their experience of cycling and making the trip a holiday! In mixed ability groups, some riders will really benefit from electrical assistance on the hill days, especially with the humidity. Our three were delighted to have ridden the entire trip for the first time, rather than getting well acquainted with the driver on the more challenging hill days! Congratulations to Exodus for making them available, and hopefully this option will extend to other trips- there is a huge potential customer base out there!