Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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69 Reviews

  • Reviewed June 2014
    Irene Murray

    Loved this Trek

    We went in March and had the most fabulous weather which added to the joy of this trip. The Wadi Rum is just magical. We found the walks quite leisurely and spent the days gawping at the scenery and chatting to others in the group. The guided trip to the arch of Burdah was more challenging but we had a lot of help and reassurance from our guide, policeman and local staff and there was no pressure to do more than you wanted. The food was good and the tents were basic but comfortable enough. The last day of the trek started with an optional camel ride followed by a short trek then the bus to Petra for a wash and then Petra by night. Petra was a great contrast to the trek and a lovely way to end the week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery during the days and the stars at night on the trek were spectacular, so it is difficult to pick a moment of the trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was very welcoming from the start. We learned a lot from him about life in Jordan and had some good stories from him at night around the camp fire. He was very attentive and patient and I felt that he really wanted us to enjoy our trip and appreciate his country. He also had a good sense of humour and got the know the foibles of the group pretty quickly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We found the evenings in March pretty cool, so take some layers, especially for sitting gazing at the stars after dinner. Take plenty of baby wipes, a head torch, something to read and a good first aid bag in case of tummy upsets, blisters etc. It's good to have some open toed sandals for the camp site to give your feet a breather after a long day's trekking. Do the camel ride and the hamman if you can, both were a great giggle. Do your shopping the evening you arrive in Petra town, the shops near the hotel are good and you won't have much time after that unless you miss out a bit of the tour of Petra the next day. It is also worth considering adding a trip of your own to the week to see a bit more of Jordan.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my first shot at any kind of camping so I was a bit apprehensive and couldn't imagine how I could cope with the lack of toilets and no running water. Don't let this put you off if it's your first time too, it's not the best part of the trip but the rest more that makes up for a couple of yucky moments. It's worth it!
  • Reviewed May 2014
    Shareef Esoof

    Petra & Wadi Rum Trek

    Really enjoyed this trip and trek. Wadi Rum is absolutely breathtaking and Petra is something quite spectacular. There are also lots of other places to visit in Jordan if you have free time. The people are friendly also and I loved the food. The trek through Wadi Rum was great, it really is a beautiful place. The scenery is amazing. The desert is tranquil and inspiring. I think Exodus have graded this trek well and put it as medium difficulty. Anyone with some trekking experience will be able to do this fairly easily, you just have to be weary of the heat. Also walking in sand for a long time will make the muscles tire out quicker. The hotel accommodation is excellent and the tents provided were also decent. Our group were really nice also. Highly recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Wadi Rum and Petra were both magnificent.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sammi our group leader was excellent. He really took care of the group and had a lot of knowledge about Jordan in general. The chefs and the other supporting guides were also really nice.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Sun cream is a must. Drink plenty.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks to Exodus for arranging a great and memorable trip.
  • Reviewed April 2014
    Diana Maynard

    Exceeded expectations

    This trip exceeded all my expectations. I wasn't even particularly bothered about seeing Petra, which for many is the highlight of the trip, but I was very glad I did! A relatively easy-going trek but walking on soft sand is harder than it looks, nevertheless. The wild camping was fabulous, and there are plenty of interesting things to see and do to keep you from getting bored, despite a lot of sand!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nothing was inspirational as such, but there were plenty of fabulous moments: scrambling onto the rocks on several nights to watch the sunset, sleeping under the stars, scrambling on the Burdah Arch, seeing Petra form high up above, and even just sitting round the campfire at night chatting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Zuhair was very knowledgeable and sociable, and looked after the group well, going the extra mile on numerous occasions, although he occasionally did talk a bit too much! He was tolerant of a group who didn't always make life easy for him, but occasionally the cracks did show through when he got frustrated with people who faffed about or who didn't listen to him. Unlike many non-Western guides, he interacted very well with the group, however, and socialised with us throughout the entire week, entertaining us on a frequent basis with stories and jokes. He set a decent pace and expected high standards, but perhaps was not so tolerant of those who liked to dawdle. He should perhaps have made it clearer that he wouldn't wait for those who did.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do need to be relatively fit and happy to "slum it" a little as the camping is pretty basic. Do your research beforehand, especially if you've never been wild camping. Torch, wet wipes, blister plasters etc. LIghtweight walking boots. Be prepared to get sand in your boots constantly though (trousers or gaiters would help, but it's really too hot for that!). In April the weather was surprisingly warm at night and many of us had far too many clothes - I never even needed a sleeping bag let alone my 3 season one, nor did I need my thermals or lightweight down jacket. In winter, I suspect you'd need all these things. It's essential to wear walking boots in Petra as you'll be clambering around on the rocks. Also a torch is useful for the "Petra by night" walk (and trainers or boots as you walk around on rocky surfaces and it's a long walk). We also never needed anything to cover heads, shoulders or knees, even in Petra. Do the hammam in Petra, it was wonderful to be scrubbed clean after a few days in the desert! If you don't like caffeine at night, take herbal teabags with you. And take a mug (they do lend you mugs but they can disappear very easily!) Also take a good 2 litre water bottle or (preferably) hydration system - it's easy to underestimate how much water you need and to run out during the day. Take a book for the siesta time after lunch and the evenings.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Have some respect for the guides - they really do know what they're talking about even if what they say might sound odd. And read up a little on the culture and on Petra before you go.
  • Reviewed January 2014
    Anonymous

    PETRA & WADI RUM TREK

    A fantastic week trekking through amazing scenery in Wadi Rum, camping out under the thousands of stars and exploring the fascinating Petra.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's really hard to say! Obviously walking through the Siq and catching the first glimpse of The Treasury at Petra is something i will always remember but the trekking in Wadi Rum was stunning. My most inspirational moment was probably watching the sunset at our guides favourite spot in all of Jordan. We had this special place all to ourselves and set up camp on a sand dune that gave us unbelievable views of the valley as we watched the sun set on the horizon and change the colours of the landscape. Then to fall asleep later that night under a blanket of stars was amazing, I've ever seen so many shooting stars.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was fantastic. He was extremely proud to be from Jordan and the passion and knowledge for his home environment really shone through. He was very friendly and patient and on the tough trekking day (with scrambling) he was extremely attentive to everyone's different abilities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely bring a headtorch, make sure your shoes are well broken in and drink plenty of water! I would also say dont be too concerned about the trekking on day 4 which includes scrambling to the arch of Burdah . There were quite a few in my group (myself included) who were nervous about this but all managed fine and felt a real sense of achievement once we had made it! Sleeping out of your tent under the stars is an amazing experience, to drift off whilst gazing at the hundreds of stars is a great experience.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do it!
  • Reviewed November 2013
    Anonymous

    PETRA & WADI RUM TREK

    Fantastic trip that far surpassed our expectations. Wadi Rum is absolutely stunning, and to camp under the stars each night was phenomenal. I don't think I've ever seen stars so bright. Add in breathtaking scenery, incredible rock formations and then top the trip off with a visit to Petra, and you have one fantastic week. And be prepared to eat a lot of flatbread!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the milky way and sleeping under the rotating stars. Seeing the treasury at Petra for the first time by candlelight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was very friendly, knowledgeable and well organised, but also allowed people to enjoy the trek at their own pace.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring snack food like nuts, chocolate etc for the trek. Definitely bring a camera!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would like to see exodus take the lead in keeping wadi rum campsites free of litter, with a leave no trace ethos applied. There was quite a lot of rubbish at the back of some of the camps and it would be a shame to spoil such a beautiful location by leaving rubbish behind.
  • Reviewed November 2013
    Anonymous

    PETRA & WADI RUM TREK

    A short, easy going trek finished off by a visit to Petra.The  conditions at the camps, while theres no running water, was perfectly fine and the support crews did an excellent job.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sunset over the desert and the new moon/evening star combinationAlso, seeing the Treasury   

    What did you think of your group leader?

    By and large he was good  - but had a tendency to overelaborate when perhaps silence would have been better.  there were a few occassions where he could have picked up the tempo a little such as when we were at Petra where people were conscious of being on a tight time schedule.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take wet wipes, light weight boots and compede.  Also for the scrambling, try and get some gloves unless you want to have your finger prints erased.
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    PETRA & WADI RUM TREK

    Awesome scenery.  Real Lawrence of Arabia landscape and such colourful rock formations.  Petra was even more dramatic than I had anticipated.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing on top of the rock bridge, quite high up, and  overwhelmed by the vast desert landscape before me.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was friendly enough but didn't engage a great deal.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a camping mug as they just give you plastic cups to drink hot tea out of.  It wasn't particualrly cold at night so you don't need a really warm sleeping bag, especially as they provide super thick blanlets anyway.Remember a headtorch for the evenings.It's too hot to walk in the middle of the day so you get a couple of hours sitting in the shade so travel scrabble or something similar is a good idea.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The desert and the visit to Petra were amazing.  The group were all so friendly and we had a good laugh, especially about the portaloo which was transported across the desert from camp to camp.  There was something surreal about following it.  As long as we had it in our sights we knew we couln't get lost!  Altogether an amazing experience and quite different from other treks and travels.
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    In the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia...

    A brilliant week out, exploring a different world.  The trek gets better each day, and the desert scenery gave context to our viewing of Petra.  The camping was comfortable and the travelling Portaloo was appreciated.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Apart from the mountain ascent, the hike is all quite manageable as long as you have the stamina to walk for several hours.  When we went at Easter the weather was great, nice and warm during the day, but not too hot (or cold at night).  I didn't like the mountain ascent (I did rip my trousers on the way down!) and might have opted to stay back at base, but everyone else seemed to enjoy it.Probably a good idea to take some luxuries - we had fresh coffee, others had snacks or sweets -  the food provided on the trek was fine and filling, but a bit spartan.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is a great week out, with a combination of good (but not overstrenuous) exercise, sightseeing and relaxation.  A fascinating history is never far away and it's great to get a glimpse into how Bedouin people live. Lots of fun along the way too.  Hiking means you get a chance to get a bit beneath the surface of Jordan - so why not take a crash course in a country that you probably don't know very much about?!
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    PETRA & WADI RUM TREK

    This is a wonderful trip.  Almost like two holidays in one, with the peace of the desert contrasting with the fascinating culture of Petra.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Crossing the Jebel Burdah bridge, drinking sage tea round the campfire and sleeping under the stars every night of the trek.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Salah was fantastic - knowledgeable and with a great sense of humour and fun.  I could not have done the Jebel Burdah climb without him - he was so encouraging and I felt I was in very safe hands as I negotiated the trickier sections with his help.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A pair of cotton gloves was very useful on the climb - there is a lot of scrambling using handholds and the rock is quite rough.  The camel ride on the last day in Wadi Rum is definitely worth doing - great photo opportunites and gives the feet a rest!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Choose this trip!  Wonderful mix of physical challenge, serenity and culture.
  • Reviewed April 2013
    Anonymous

    PETRA & WADI RUM TREK

    A fasinating Jordan experience, covering a visit to Mount Musa where Moses had brought the seven tribes of Israel, seeing 3000year old Mosaces, walking in the rocky desert of Waddi Rum, climbing up and over two natural rock bridges, while camping in the desert and being fed Bedouin food reliving the area where Laurance of Arabia assisted the Arabs with their Gurilla war on the railway line.Then it was time to move down to Waddi Musa, first time to clean up from the desert with a Turkish Bath, Scrub Down and Massage, refreshed we experienced Petra by night, followed next day with plenty of time to explore in daylight.All this in our six days in this friendly country, by the way I am 66 and looking forward to my next trip to walk the great walls of China this September aged 67. I am having the time of my life, I recommend making the most of these experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra by day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Salah a Jordanian was friendly, helpfull and extremly knowlegable and happy to share it with me.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For extra comfort when sleeping in the desert take a camping mat to spread the weight over the open cell foam matras for a better nights sleep.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go out and enjoy lifes experiences whilst you still can.My late father told me, Young men live off their dreams and Old men live off their memories, I am still DREAMING and may it last for many years. Go out there and live your dreams.