Turtle, Ecuador

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

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Patricia Carr

    Trip was what it said on the tin

    The whole trip was enjoyable and it was definitely Volcanos and Temples. I had travelled to Bali before but the majority of the sites that I visited this time were different from those I visited last time.I

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was to see Borobudur and Bromo that I booked the trip. But saying that I loved taking part in the cleansing ceremony and climbing the volcanos.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juno was fantastic. He made sure everyone was happy and nothing was too much trouble. I did the 2 optional volcano climbs and he was there for support and encouragement when it got tough for me. His sense of humour and attitude towards his work was great and well appreciated.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As long as the trip notes are read there are no suprises. If planning to climb the volcanos take walking poles. Expect getting to the view point for Mt Bromo to be congested.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only thing that was slightly disappointing was the stated thermal pools. The pools themselves were ok but I did not expect it to be a spa resort. Also one of the restaurants that we stopped off for a lunch ( sorry I can't remember the name) was sadly lacking.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Christopher STEEDEN

    South East Alaska

    This was a new part of Alaska for me to visit and the main animals for me on my agenda were Brown bears and Black bears and Whales - Humpbacks and Orcas in particular . Although there was less bear viewing than i expected the whale viewing for the Humpbacks in particular was so spectacular that the fact i did not see so many bears did not matter so much. We had one very good day with the black bears at Anan Creek and unfortunately we did not see any brown bears at Pack Creek. However , we did witness and photograph hours upon hours of bubble net feeding - some right next to our yacht - as well as breaching from both Humpbacks and Orcas to a lesser degree. The Yacht we travelled on - The Island Roamer - was excellent and far more spacious than i anticipated and the four crew were superb also . All four were very professional , knowledgable and very friendly. The food prepared by the chef was probably the tastiest food i have ever tasted !

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment was probably the first Humpback bubblenet feed . We then went on to see another 60 / 70 feeds over the next 7 hours and then then another long session 3 days later !! For me another great moment was a mother black bear and cub salmon fishing at Anan Creek.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have been on trips with Paul Goldstein on numerous occasions and he is first class . He had an excellent relationship with the captain of our yacht and this made the trip easy going but very focused as photographing the mammals of the area was the main criteria of the trip. When we arrived at Pack creek to see the brown bears it was obvious to me on arrival that the chances of seeing a bear - probably due to the unseasonal warm weather - were quite low but rather than waste a day waiting for the chance of seeing a bear Paul made a decision to go elsewhere and ultimately that decision allowed us to see an incredible show of humpback breaching later in the day .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Binoculars are vital , casual travel clothes only required , a monopod or tripod are really only required for the two bear viewing places - Anan Creek and Pack Creek . A pair of shorts for the yacht were for me a good choice as were a light pair of shoes for walking around the deck rather than heavier walking shoes or boots.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip to South East Alaska was excellent although this particular trip leant more towards whales - humpbacks and orcas - than bears but we also saw many eagles and there was one session with sea otters plus some interesting behaviour with Dall porpoises. Alaska is a large State and this trip will probably give travellers the taste to see other parts of Alaska.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Catherine Mclaren

    Fantastic trip

    Lovely holiday in the Rockies, varied walks, great guides who cooked 3 course meals every night on a 3 ring gas burner. Bus time kept to a minimum but we covered a lot of ground. Just remember, you are in the mountains and the weather can be variable, the averages given in the trip notes can be deceiving!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Camping in the back country was fabulous, including the helicopter trip in.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both leaders were great, Vincent had a lot on his plate on this particular trip and Maggie was a great second in command, doing the majority of the cooking - couldn’t fault either.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It will probably be colder and wetter than you might think,
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Michael Curtis

    Excellent walking holiday.

    The holiday was based in a village high up in the alps, at about 2000 metres. There were two guides, one leading a moderate-grade walk and one leading a challenging-grade walk and each day clients were able to choose which one to join. Some stayed with the same group all week, others switched between groups. The weather was very good except for one day, and we were able to see snowy mountain peaks many miles away. There were patches of snow at higher altitudes on one of the challenging walks. We saw marmots on some of the days. Most walks started from the hotel, but on two days local buses were used to get to the walk start point. There was plenty to do in the village, with restaurants, shops, cafes and a couple of small museums. St Veran is a small ski-ing village in the winter and there were a few closed-down ski-lifts, but nothing to spoil the views.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think this was reaching the pic de Caramantran at 3025 metres in the moderate-grade group (bear in mind that the walk started at 2340m that day). There were excellent views of mont Viso in Italy, which still had some snow on it. You could walk over the border into Italy for a few minutes. It was windy there. Everyone shook hands on reaching this point.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I walked with both group leaders on different days. Both were very competent and spoke English very well. Both had a good knowledge of the history of the local area and knew the routes well. Yves led the challenging walks and Isabelle led the moderate walks. Both guides ate with the group in the evenings. On the free day, they gave us an informal tour of the village, explaining its history. On the challenging walk on the last day, there were some difficult stretches near the top and Yves made sure everyone was safe. The leaders provided marked-up contour maps of the walking areas, something I have not experienced before on this type of holiday. This helped clients to make up their minds which grade of walk to go on.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's a good idea to have walking poles if you are going to do the challenging-grade walks.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There is a long bus journey of over 3 hours between Turin airport and St. Veran. The scenery is nice and there is a stop about half-way. The walking footpaths were un-crowded. We only came across a few locals and no other large groups.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Linda Cunningham

    Perfect Adventure

    I can not recommend this adventure enough: Mongolia is a special country and Exodus provided the ideal adventure to highlight all aspects of Mongolia and Mongolian life. We aren’t really mountain bikers but the biking was superb - not particularly easy - but truly enjoyable in terms of terrain, scenery and fun riding. We aren’t really campers - but have to admit it was kinda enjoyable in the end 😎. Food on the trip was exceptional - we were v well fed: breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon snack, substantial dinner. Ghana and her assistant certainly kept us well fed. We even had a shower and a proper sit down toilet on camp 😎. The whole Mongolian support team were superb and NK - our guide - was a special guy. Knowledgable, funny, kind and considerate - he really made our adventure special.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Biking along with a herd of Mongolian horses zooooming alongside us was pretty special. Although the laugh we had playing football v Mongolian team was hilarious 😆

    What did you think of your group leader?

    NK was superb: can’t fault him in anyway. Knowledgeable, funny, cheerful, friendly and v capable. He made our adventure special.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get out on your mountain bike and get away on this adventure: you’ll love it. I’d highly recommend going on the Naadam departure.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a v special holiday. Mongolia was special, NK and his team were special. Naadam Festival was exciting and fun and I felt Exodus has pulled out all the stops to make the Festival experience great for us.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Lucy Chaldecott

    A marvellous week in the mountains!

    My dad and I have just returned from the Dolomites. We had an absolutely amazing week and I cannot rate it highly enough for keen mountain walkers. With varied walks, beautiful views, excellent guides and cheerful company from fellow hikers, it has been a very memorable week; I am so pleased that i chose this spectacular trip. Thank you to everyone for making it such a happy holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The beautiful, high up ridge walks with undulating paths stretching for miles ahead, with dramatic views down into the valleys. Standing in the snow at the top of Piz Boe at over 3,000m was also pretty inspirational!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Albert and Martin were outstanding leaders, and they swapped between the grades of walks each day so we got to know them both. They proved to be not only organised, knowledgable and highly competent, but also kind, friendly and funny. Thanks for all the excellent mountain refuge stops!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go prepared for all weathers and temperatures - sometimes we needed shorts, sun hats and sun cream, and sometimes waterproofs and gloves. Best be prepared and take it all! Dad and I hired bikes for half of our free day which I would highly recommend. Also enjoy the sauna downstairs in the hotel, and take a kettle for your room if you’re a keen tea drinker!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Best to stick to either grade 3 or 5 for all of the week to avoid overlap in the walks between days. Other than that, just book this trip, it is beautiful and you will love it!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Beth Neill
    Trip:

    Great mix of outdoor activities

    Although the bear hide was the lure for us on this trip, the other activities of walking with huskies, rideing the river and walking the forests all made this a brilliant short break. Long days meant we had good evenings watching the bears and time to do things during the day as well. Oulanka base camp was a great venue.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the mother bear with 4 cubs emerge from the woods.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elina was a wonderful leader - she always made sure we were all happy and knew what was going on each day, spending time telling us about local culture.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of mosquito repellant!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Linda S.

    Amazing Amazon!

    I was a little undecided about booking this extension, I'm so glad I did. The trip was very well organised, and the excitement starts with the very first boat journey to your Lodge. Lots of new experiences and a sensory sensation!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Travelling on the river in the dark, watching dawn break and hearing the jungle come alive. Night walk through the forest. The sheer enormity of the different sights, sounds, humidity and smell of the jungle.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Moises was an excellent and very knowledgeable local guide. He saw and heard things way before we did, and made sure we kept safe whilst photographing some potentially dangerous animals and plants.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it. Completely different to other parts of the world, and changing rapidly. You may not get the chance again, and the memories will stay with you forever.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Remember the Deet!!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Linda Stephenson

    Amazing Peru!!

    From start to finish this trip ticked all the boxes. Yes it's full on, Peru is a huge country and this holiday maximises your time to visit all the most interesting places and areas. The scenery whilst travelling around is amazing. Didn't even open the book I'd taken to read on the coach!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many - the reed islands on Lake Titicaca, standing at the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu at dawn - watching the transformation from atmospheric cloud and mist to bright sunshine, seeing the Andes in all their glory and experiencing the Amazon rainforest and it's amazing flora and fauna.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Daniel was fabulous. His friendly personality, pride in his country, knowledge of Peru's history and cultures, enthusiasm and organisational skills and excellent English made us feel very well looked after. Felt like we were travelling with a friend who was also a guide and leader!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it! You can sleep when you get home!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would definitely recommend the Amazon rainforest extension. Completely new experience and different to any other adventure we've been on.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Richard Whight

    TDW: Walking in the French Alps

    This was the first time this holiday was available, organised by Yves Novel and Isabelle Murach, two delightful guides who spoke excellent English. Their organisation was first class providing some astounding walking. They took excellent care of us, providing best advice on how to tackle different terrain and demonstrated a wealth of knowledge on local history, flora and forna. Basecamp was the Hotel Le Grand Tetras, which provided a good standard of accommodation and some excellent food. The hotel staff were very friendly and helpful. The scenery around St Veran is simply fantastic and the weather, apart from one day - which became our rest day - was excellent. Consequently we managed to complete all planned walks. Having the option each day of either a grade 5 or a grade 3 walk was brilliant. We did all the Grade 5 walks which were very rewarding. They were all great although we spent a lot of time on the North Queyras climbs in the forest and didn't having the fabulous views offered by the other walks. We used 3 of the local restaurants which were not overly busy and provided a good standard of local foods

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Exceeding 10,000ft on the Italian border walk. Views were simply stunning

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Yves and Isabelle were outstanding guides. Great personalities who spoke excellent English and had a wealth of local knowledge. They gave excellent advice on how to tackle the different terrains and were exceptionally safety conscious.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try it!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One of the best Exodus trips we have completed.
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