Turtle, Ecuador


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

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1 Review

  • Reviewed February 2019

    India In All It's Glory!

    This was my second trip to India, having been on The Tropical South trip in January 2017, so I knew a bit of what to expect. For my husband it was his first trip. I was overawed by my experiences, the Taj obviously was a highlight - but be prepared for crowds. The Jain temple at Ranakpur was a wonderful surprise - a fabulous building, with an amazing interior. The blue houses in Bundi & the magnificent step well! The tiger safari was a true wild life journey - even if the tigers all hid from us that day - the monkeys, birds and crocodiles were much in evidence! Palaces, forts, temples - we explored and learnt about these incredible structures reflecting a way of life that has now disappeared forever! And not to forget the people - and there are LOTS! Pushy hawkers, shy ladies & children, laughing teens, solemn old men with craggy faces, business men in flash cars, women carrying containers of rubble working on a building site - as the saying goes 'All human life is here!' Sitting here typing this I can't really believe I was there - to experience all of India's diversity - what a lot we packed in, in 2 weeks. The noise of hooting cars and tuktuks, the smell of dust, exhausts, drains, incense, cows ( which really do wander in the streets and across the main roads!) The colour of the women's dresses, the laughing children waving at us from the street as we passed - so many wonderful memories.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me it was the sunset cruise on Lake Pichola followed by the visit to the Brahma temple in Pushkar and a blessing by the priest, whereby we were absolved from our sins when we threw flowers, rice & sugar into the water. Being in Ranthambore - we just sat in the canter at one point - engine off, listening to the birds and sounds of the forest - bliss!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Naveen was one of the best tour leaders I've had in all my trips with Exodus. He was always approachable, calm & efficient and met the challenges of the trip in a measured way - and there were several challenges! Protesters closing roads, meant he had to work with our bus driver to find an alternate route from Agra to Ranthambore - one which ultimately doubled our travelling time. He rang ahead to arrange food for us and even managed a birthday cake for one of our group! When our final Delhi hotel was closed (owing to a fire in another hotel, a few days before), Naveen went without sleep to rearrange another hotel in Delhi, plus change all the airport transfers! He was always willing to engage in conversation, especially about his country - about which he knows a tremendous amount. However we didn't suffer from information overload from him (this was sometimes the case with local guides at palaces & forts!) Naveen had a good sense of humour and made us feel like part of his extended family. He always made sure we knew what our itinerary was the following day, that everyone was aware of timings , where to change money etc. The fact he took part in the optional cookery class he'd arranged for some of us, made the whole experience even more special. Naveen is a credit to Exodus, you'll be a very lucky traveller if you have him as your guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Long journeys in the bus on often bumpy roads, but usually lots to watch out of the window - I managed to read my Kindle but it was sometimes a challenge . If you take this tour as your first visit to India - it will take some getting used to seeing the amount of litter everywhere including sacred cows grazing in the rubbish! Child beggars in some of the large cities made some of us feel very uncomfortable, as did the elephants carrying tourists at the Amber Fort in Jaipur. Be sure you like Indian food as there isn't much choice of anything else in restaurants and hotels but omelettes & chips are usually available. The best place to buy souvenirs is Jaipur - bazaars, jewellery shops, fabric emporiums- although my favourite souvenir was bought for 100R (£1) at Fatepur Sikri - a Taj Mahal snow globe!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You need to absorb the whole experience - India is...... so many things - I could use words like amazing, fascinating, shocking, wonderful & India is all those. I think everyone should experience India once in their lives. This trip truly is a sensory experience but one I shall treasure - and it has only cemented in my mind a desire to see more of this fascinating country - I just need to decide where to go next! To anyone unsure of whether to go - please just do it - you are in the most experienced hands with Exodus - they truly know how to show you the REAL India!