Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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2 Reviews

  • Reviewed September 2021

    Trip is now much better

    Having just completed this trip I can report that the concerns raised by the reviewer of the July version had been addressed and I found it a most enjoyable trip well led by Brian and more than ably supported by Susan. All the walks were really good, some having been revised to ensure safety levels were suitable and the scenery is spectacular. A highlight was seeing otters on the beach on the walk back to Thurso from Dunnet Head. The day trip to Orkney was also well worth it. made memorable by the knowledge and enthusiasm of our driver. The accommodation generally was better than I expected, although the hotel in Thurso was not as good as the others. We had a good group who all got on well and meant that the atmosphere throughout was sociable, although some of the jokes left a bit to be desired!! I would definitely recommend this trip to others.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The otters.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very sociable and enthusiastic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As this is a fairly new trip approach it with an open mind and expect it will continue to be refined based on feedback from previous trips.
  • Reviewed July 2021

    Shambolic chaos: a crushingly disappointing trip

    Firstly, there is no North Highland Way. There are no official routes, and the notion that the NHW exists remains in the mind of a few hardened Scottish hill walkers determined but not in the mind of farmers ans land owners who have put up barbed wire fences across inland bog and bracken strewn moorland, forcing walkers to take their chances on dangerous cliffs and rock and soil strewn beaches. The trip notes for this “adventure” are a work of fiction. The accommodations are mediocre at best. Exodus has lost a loyal repeat customer over this shambolic farce and waste of precious holiday time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The glorious sunshine and the seeing the most northerly beaches in the UK at their best, essentially, those parts of the trip not put in place by Exodus and the dreadful company this trip is outsourced to, EasyWays.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The director EasyWays joined the trip on the first three days. It is safe to say, I was not impressed. He did not join the group on the walks, instead walked a couple of the “planned” routes the day before our group was meant to. He would come back in the evening to report that the majority of the routes were unsuitable or impassable, therefore the billed route published in the trip notes was not going to happen. Shorter, dull routes were offered instead. The second leader was abandoned and left with a few maps and his map app on his smart phone to make up routes as we were ferried along from one chaotic accommodation booking to another. The second leader was therefore too distracted trying to find a route on the walking days to watch out for client safety and for people in the group struggling with the terrain, bogs and bracken. He made an effort to tell us about the history and background to the areas we stayed in, but it wasn’t enough to compensate for the lack of planning, the poor attention to safety and general cohesion and enjoyment of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t book this trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am utterly crushed by this experience even more so after a miserable year as a frontline medic: Exodus as a company has let itself down terribly by putting on this trip and outsourcing it to an operator who clearly does not take client care seriously. The organisation was an utter shambles from start to finish. It has not been researched properly, the routes not actually walked before paying clients were booked onto the trip. The accommodation of the final night in Tain, The Royal Hotel, was a disgrace, with no COVID secure sanitisation, and the food offerings even more so. The last group meal was a grotty, greasy selection of takeaway food from the local kebab and curry shop. I went to the supermarket and bought a packet of crisps for dinner. This will be my trip with Exodus, after 8 years of loyalty.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Alia for her detailed review, although we genuinely regret that she has had cause to provide such disappointing feedback and that she does not plan to travel with Exodus again following her experience. This holiday was a new addition in 2021 and whilst we recognise that first departures of new trips may not run as smoothly as more established tours, given the work that goes into the design and logistics of new itineraries, we would not expect them to fall below our usually high standards. Having taken the time to review the itinerary with our Exodus staff observer who joined this trip and speak through concerns with the local manager at Easyways, aspects of the time management and some sections of the walking routes have been reviewed and, where appropriate, amended for future departures. We have also changed the accommodation to be used in Tain. Following these changes, we have received feedback more in line with our, and our customers, expectations. We genuinely appreciate that this cannot alter Alia’s experiences but hope this demonstrates that we have taken the feedback seriously and endeavored to react appropriately in the circumstances.

    Product Manager - Claire Ouditt