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.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed September 2017
    Franciska Pouw

    Wonderful Ladakh!

    I booked this trip through Sawadee (Dutch partner of Exodus) and I would do it again. The trip was very well organised and lead by Valerie Parkinson. Our local trekking guide Wangail also did a really good job in helping us beating the paths and crossing wild rivers and moutain passes. And my fellow travellers were really nice. This trip was amazing! A 'hot' start in Delhi, early morning amazing flight to Leh when you see the Himalaya mountain range when the weather is good. We had really good views! Leh is very pleasant, kind people, beautiful colours, wonderful monasteries in and around Leh. We even visited the highest motorable road in the world (5600); excellent for acclimatization! The trekking was everything I hoped for. Really colourful mountains, interesting villages and people. We even saw baby eagle owles, pica's (mouse hare), a red fox and loads of blue sheep! The camping was very well organized, food was excellent! I would strongly recommend this trip when you love mountains, trekking and other cultures.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I found it all very memorable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Valerie Parkinson is a very experienced and pleasant tourleader. She really knows all about Ladakh and buddhism, has good humor, knows how to 'handle' a group, gives you plenty of good tips. After trekking days she encouraged us to go for extra acclimitization walks.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take enough batteries and powerbanks with you on the trek when you like to take a lot of photos!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Tony Wright

    Magic Markha Valley

    The Markha Valley Trek was a truly memorable experience. The landscape, wildlife and vegetation, the light, the culture and peaceful atmosphere of Ladakh are unforgettable and we were fortunate to experience it 'up close'. The trek was superbly organised, with expert and supportive leadership from Valerie Parkinson. The camping experience was great and the local team was full of joy and very competent. We were very well looked after! I enjoyed the excellent company of my fellow trekkers and appreciated the way in which some of the more challenging sections of the trek were paced and supported. As well as the trek, there were excellent visits to monasteries, and good accommodation in Leh and Delhi. 2 weeks felt like 2 months - it was an intense and very satisfying experience all round. Thanks for everything.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many! Getting up to the top of the GandaLa Pass after struggling a bit with the altitude, and seeing the incredible view from the crest. Contrasts between summer crops and the utter barrenness of the mountains. Watching the sunset from the Old village at Markha. Visiting Thikse Monastery. All the opportunities to experience the culture and religion. Walking the final few kilometres down the valley to Shang Sudmdo in golden light surrounded by mountains of other-worldly colours.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Valerie is a truly superb group leader. She brings calm authority, care, respect, humour, a vast depth of expertise and local knowledge, and a calm that is both reassuring and authoritative. She has a great knowledge of group psychology too! I feel very fortunate to have been on a trek led by Valerie.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Carry boiled sweets or peppermints to suck on - helps to handle the dry air. If you want to take a lot of photos, take a power bank with plenty of capacity for recharging your camera, as well as a couple of extra batteries. I ran out on the last day of the trek despite having 3 batteries and a 6000 ma power bank!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All aspects of Exodus planning and organisation were excellent. I will recommend the trip to friends and am looking at my next trip already. Exodus will be my go-to company.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Danny Bell

    Memorable Markha Valley

    Stunning scenery and great camping adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being able to enjoy spectacular landscape ranging from the different valleys, canyons, with a multitude of colour changing rock formations.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The guide Rajeev was extremely organised and took great care of the group. Both him, his assistant Wangail and the team were also very social which is always nice.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do prepare for any weather conditions as with this being the end of the season we did wake up to Snow one morning. Also with is being hot during the day do not pack too much in your day bag.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Michelle Madrigga

    Spectacular Scenery!

    A great trek through an amazingly beautiful area with an enormous array of colours and landscapes. Great acclimatization time in Leh before the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking in relatively isolation through the amazing landscapes. Crossing the two passes were an achievement.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both the group leader and the trekking guide were excellent, friendly and competent. Very well organized and no issues with communication.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for cool or cold night temperatures. Some of the parts of the trail are on narrow (sometimes crumbling) ledges above the river so people with vertigo issues or unsteady feet may want to come prepared. There are also some sections where you are walking along rocky riverbeds so you may want to ensure you have boots with adequate ankle support. Definitely bring a wide brim hat, sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen as well as the sun was particularly strong during the day and there was often little shaded areas. Bring extra camera batteries and memory cards if you like taking photos as this trek is full of photo opportunities!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in beautiful scenery and relatively isolated environments.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Stephen Taylor

    The Markha Valley

    A great trek to remote locations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Crossing the Gongmaru La pass-stunning views in every direction, and worth all the effort. Seeing the Dalai Lama in Leh.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lakpa was a great leader. Always on the ball, checking everybody was OK, and making sure everything worked like clockwork-great job! Wongel, the assistant guide was also a star.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take big memory cards-the scenery is breathtaking. It can be very hot and dusty, so be prepared.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Worth the cost, the overnight flights, not showering, being caked in dust, and generally feeling privileged to have been there.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Kirit Garala

    TGR

    Very good

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Fellow trekkers. Scenery. Guide and Ladaki people

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. No other words to explain him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it!! Weather a little hotter than I expected
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Irene Neilson

    Beautiful Wilderness - Ladakh: The Markha Valley

    An outstanding trek in a wonderful arid, mountainous environment where rocks gleam a wide variety iridescent colours, where lammergeiers and golden eagles circle above as marmots sit sunning themselves on the rocks below and where blue sheep have you gasping in amazement at their sure footedness on craggy rocky slopes. The isolation of the trek is special with just a few sparsely inhabited villages being passed. The range of temperatures from very warm during the day to very cold at night combined with the altitude of the passes and the rough stony ground of the riverbeds hemmed in by large rockfaces creates a wonderful feeling of challenge and exploration. The timelessness of the Buddhist monasteries encountered further enhances the experience. An amazing trip!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walk to Nimaling was special as the views really open up as you approach the plateau and the light on the snow topped slopes of Kang Yatse shifted to reveal huge cracks in its cornices. Cows and horses grazed at the camp and huge flocks of sheep and goats (including Kashmir goats) passed by the tents to gather in summer corals on the opposite side of the river. The crossing of the Gongmaru La Pass in perfect weather with vivid blue skies enabling us to see a perfect panorama of mountain tops including a 7000m+ peak belonging to the Karakorum range in Pakistan. It was very special seeing somewhere you would love to visit but are unlikely to be able to. The descent through the gorge was spectacular.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lakpa Lama was brilliant as a leader - kind, considerate, patient, good fun, competent. He had a great manner - at ease with everyone and quietly making sure that any problems were attended to and resolved as best as circumstances would permit.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    On our trip we had real extremes of temperature almost every day - 35 daytime, below freezing at night- so pack for both extremes. I regretted not bringing a very lightweight windproof long sleeved top - my summer base-layer was too warm. A flannel for the morning basin of water is useful. We found canoe shoes good for river crossing leaving sandals dry for the evening. The dry air can cause throat/chest issues so Strepsils, cough sweets etc useful. Unlike Nepal you can't just pick up things like that at a local teahouse though there are tea parachute tents en route where you can buy soft drinks and some local community handicrafts made from wool. The stuffed snow leopards are best at Rumbak village tent. Mobile phones are blocked in Ladakh though there is erratic wifi at Glacier View Hotel. Safe water shop in Leh is great- try the Apricot or Sea buckthorn juice though I found the latter too bitter.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Excellent acclimatisation schedule. The river does change course and you do sometimes end up on narrow cliff passes but the sand on these is 'sticky' and gives a good grip. The food is excellent and quality of tents - including toilet tent- is good. Easy to change money at the hotel in Delhi which has a swimming pool - great after the flight. Nearby Mughal Mahal restaurant good. We did the Golden Triangle Extension with Wellcome Travel and enjoyed it.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Frank Porter

    Makrha Valley

    This was a great experience the Markha Valley is truly unique part of the world. We arrived a in Leh a week after heavy rains and closed the track due to flooding and some land slides. The Exodus team worked extremely hard to plan an alternate route if we could not do the Markha trek. Luckily the Markha valley track was reopened and we were able to do the planned walk. The views the landscape the local people all well and truly exceeded my expectations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing at the top of Gongmaru Pass with fantastic views in all directions was truly inspiring.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The Group leader Ngima could not have been better nothing was too hard for him he was committed tot he group 24/7. his commitment an happy smiling face help to make the trek the wonderful experienced that it was.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The river crossing can be a bit tough on two days we spent several hours following the river bed crossing and recrossing the river jumping from stone to stone, I personally found this a bit challenging due to problems with a dodgy ankle.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Simon Barber

    Simon Barber's Markha Valley review

    A trip of a lifetime! My first time in Asia - a difficult place to get around in. I was attracted by the terrain and the altitude: I'd done over 4000 m last year in Morocco (Mt. Toubkal), this year I fancied a go at 5000 m. I made it, but not with much breath to spare. An excellently organised trip but not for the faint-hearted or those with any vertigo/balance problems. The Markha valley trail is up a flash-flood prone canyon that several times a year wipes out all vestige of the old trail, and the locals valiantly hack a new one out of the loose, crumbling cliffs above the gorge. In places the track is a foot wide and the drop a hundred feet and more. Not pleasant.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting over the 2 high cols. The first one I managed on zero sleep - although the schedule tries hard to acclimatise the trekkers, it doesn't always work on schedule. The second high camp I was unable to sleep at all - rather like a night of being waterboarded by all accounts, But I still made it over the col the next day, feeling like death. The second, high col (5200 m) I was a bit better acclimatised for, managed 2 hours sleep. Makes all the difference!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngima was the one who really kept us going; I can't speak too highly of him. Whether organising the first and last nights meal in Delhi or keeping us on the trail, his leadership skills were superb.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be sure you don't get vertigo or any balance problems, if you want to take this trip. There's a lot of rock-hopping and stream crossing. Equipment; I wore a pair of almost knee-length Meindl boots, and recommend them or similar.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food and camp organisation was excellent. The porters and horsemen deserve every rupee of what they got, and more!
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Nathan Crofts

    TGR Ladakh: The Markha Valley

    An outstanding trip offering a wide range of experiences and inspirational moments. As always, the trip was well led, well organised and offered excellent value for money. Some of the trekking was quite strenuous and tricky under foot but overall it more than lived up to our expectations as all the effort was rewarded with spectacular views.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at the top of the first high pass (GandaLa Pass - 4960m) and seeing the jaw-dropping view the other side: mountains upon mountains stretching away into the distance. Also being able to watch the monks chanting their prayers at the Thikse Monastery was pretty special. We were treated to a huge herd of blue sheep not far away above us on the mountainside too!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngima was an exceptionally good leader. Absolutely nothing was too much trouble for him. He was upbeat, cheerful and good humoured throughout the trip and dealt with all our (minor) aliments and illnesses efficiently. The local guides were also fantastic, particularly Ongel, and together the whole team made us feel safe, relaxed and able to fully enjoy the whole experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Days 2 and 6 of the trekking (when you cross the high passes and descend) are particularly long and tiring. Although the notes say 7-8 hours it took our group 10-11 hours on both these days. There is LOTS of jumping from rock to rock over streams and wading through rivers so be prepared for this with sandals and a towel in your daypack. Follow the advice of the guides in terms of keeping hydrated (4 litres a day) to combat the altitude. Nigma carried excellent medicines for all sorts of ailments ~ you don't need much from home.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were blown away by the beauty, serenity and diversity of this region. This is not the Himalayas you would expect if you only think of the Everest region. It is green and lush, rocky and arid with ever changing colours and vistas. We would highly recommend it but respect its grading (5 - challenging): it is not to be underestimated!