Most Inspirational Moment
The hot air balloon ride.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Very knowledgeable about the area (particularly history, geography, restaurants) and well able to adapt the walks to fit with the different weather conditions and fitness levels of the group. Only two minor criticisms: 1) Unlike on previous trips, we were not given the leader's mobile number, which could have posed difficulties for those who were unable to join the day's walk for any reason and needed assistance. 2) The leader tended to walk a long way out in front of the rest of the group on walks during the trip. This was occasionally problematic given the difficulty that less able members of the group faced with some of the descents in this area (i.e steep sections with loose gravel and sand).
Advice for Potential Travellers
Be prepared for how exhausting the heat can be when walking in Cappadocia. Walks are not particularly long but there are some tricky descents. Also due to the heat there are no packed lunches on this trip so watch out for the tourist lunch buffets - two of the group suffered bad gastric bugs.
The Stone Sobek Hotel was excellent - beautiful rooms, friendly staff and good food. Turkish Airlines, with whom I have flown previously, maintained their very high standard. The new Istanbul Airport is amazing, if rather distant from the city. This was the first Exodus trip that I have done with full board. I can understand that it is difficult to provide packed lunches for walks due to the heat, but there was an excess of food provided at lunchtimes. The tourist lunch buffets (we had two during the week) are in my view to be avoided. I booked the hot air balloon ride in Goreme but was disappointed to hear on arrival that the cost per person (in a 26 + 2 person capacity balloon) was €230 (or £200) instead of the €175 mentioned in the brochure. The leader explained that this was due to high demand from Latin American visitors at the moment. However, my son who is visiting Goreme independently next month has been told by his hotel to expect to pay around £130 to £150 for a balloon ride.