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Discover Sri Lanka 27th March

Fri, 01/08/2010 - 19:36

HI,

We are booked to go on the above trip, its our 3rd exodus trip. 1st 2 were excellent, so very much looking forward to it.

Is there anyone else booked on this trip ?

Bernard + Heidi

Anonymous
Sun, 01/31/2010 - 19:06

Hi there Bernard & Heidi

Just booked this trip today as the one I had been planning was cancelled.

Looking forward to this though as I have been wanting to go to Sri Lanka for ages. :o)

I'm from Bucks where are both travelling from?

Vanessa

Anonymous
Tue, 02/02/2010 - 09:15

Hi,

I'm booked to go on this trip, just signed up yesterday! Its my first trip with Exodus. In fact, its my first trip doing anything like this. Was a bit nervous about booking it but decided to bite the bullet and get on with it.

Bernard + Heidi - It brings me much comfort that you've enjoyed your previous Exodus trips enough to book another :)

Will be flying down from Edinburgh to join the group flight from Heathrow.

Zareena

Anonymous
Tue, 02/02/2010 - 17:55

Hi Zareena,

Well done!  You will love travelling with Exodus. I have done lots of trips with them and similar companies. I have always travelled on my own, it's a great way  to meet locals and make new friends. I look forward to meeting up with you soon. :o)

Thu, 02/04/2010 - 19:53

Hi Vamessa and Zereena,

 Good to hear from others booked on the trip, looking forward to meeting you both. We will be travelling to Heathrow from Gloucester by bus.

Where have you been previously with Exodus ?, We have been to Peru and Vietnam on similar style holidays.

Bernard + Heidi

Anonymous
Fri, 02/05/2010 - 19:52

Hi Bernard & Heidi

Exodus trips done so far are highlights of Turkey, Atlas Panorama, Jordan, Northern India and cycle Vietnam.

Have done other trips with Explore and Adventure Company too.

 Looking forward to some sunshine! :o)

 

Anonymous
Sat, 02/06/2010 - 23:17

Hi all

Just to say that I'm booked on this trip  too with my partner Dave. I've done lots of Exodus (and Explore) trips before usually alone and they've all been really good hence booking again. Zareena, we're flying down from Edinburgh too to meet up with the group flight. Really looking forward to some sunshine now......

 

Bela

 

 

Bela

Anonymous
Sun, 02/07/2010 - 16:34

Its really good to hear from others that are on this trip. Looking forwards to meeting you all.

Feel like its been ages since I've felt the warmth of the sun. Who knows how I'll react!

Any advice on absolute must pack items for these kind of trips?

Zareena

Anonymous
Sun, 02/07/2010 - 19:35

Zareena these vary from person to person but I shall have a think for you!!

Insect repellent obviously, something to cover up various parts of your body required when temple visiting! Bizarrely I would say something warm!! Early morning starts & altitude (Kandy) often leave people unprepared. I always take a notebook, I find recording thoughts, funny events, particular photo spots help me place my photos when I return home.

I shall let you know if anything else comes to mind once I start to prepare. :o)

Anonymous
Sun, 02/07/2010 - 19:55

I'd add a torch - I like a headtorch, sandals/shoes you can wear in water and a small bag but big enough to fit essentials like money, camera, tube of suncream but depends on the trip really. This one looks quite leisurely but I've definitely been caught out by not having something warm to put on when the evenings/mornings have got cold. 

 

Bela

Anonymous
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 16:22

HI everyone, This will be our 2nd exodus trip. You seem like a friendly bunch! Went to China last summer, bit nervous but needn't have been, it was brilliant. Hotels better than expected and guide looked after us really well. It was very tiring as we never stopped but did loads and saw everything. I think this trip will be the same and we are really looking forward to it. Rachel is a primary teacher, hence going in the hols, and I am a textile artist. Travelling to Heathrow by train from Crewe.

Jackie and Rachel

Anonymous
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 18:44

Hi everyone!  Great to get chatting on here before we go. :o)

Has anyone managed to find out whether we will need any anti malarials? Every website I look on has different advice!

Are you all up for climbing Adam's Peak?

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 20:23

we have looked at the malaria issue and have concluded that we shold be ok in the areas we are going to. The nothern most parts of Sri Lanka appear to be more suceptible to malaria. We usually use the scottish nhs website.http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-(east)/sri-lanka/sri-lanka-malaria-map.aspx

B+H

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 20:24

forgot to mention - we are up for the climb up Adams Peak !

Anonymous
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 20:28

Thanks for the web link.....think it looks ok too, although how the malarial mossies know where the line is I don't know!!!!

Excellent news about Adam's Peak, I was worried I might be the only one wanting to be mad enough!! It's one of the reasons I chose this trip :o)

Anonymous
Wed, 02/10/2010 - 18:15

Dave will probably want to climb Adam's Peak too (because it's there...). I suspect that I will prefer to sleep. The trip notes seem to indicate that it is either a night's sleep or climbing the Peak.

Thanks for the advice on malaria tablets - horrible things so not having to take them is a bonus. Snowing again here today so really, really looking forward to this now.

 

Bela

Thu, 02/18/2010 - 12:19

Late entrant to the trip after my week in Italy with Exodus was unexpectedly cancelled. have had to be squeezed in so not even in group accomodation for a couple of nights! Also a teacher - but then it is school holiday trip! Travelling from Manchester. Am of the opinion that malaria medication will not be needed. Mossies go for me usually so the rest of you will be OK!

Anonymous
Thu, 02/18/2010 - 13:05

Welcome to the group Andrew!

Got a feeling we're going to have to ban 'shop' talk!

I too am on this trip because my first choice was cancelled but really looking forward to it now. Using half term to go through my travel things as the end of term is always so hectic!!!

Any one got any thoughts about the cycling day? Shorts? helmet? etc

Anonymous
Thu, 02/18/2010 - 14:43

Hello Andrew! Good to hear from another person signed up to this trip.

My thoughts around the cycling day are mostly just concern that its been a good few years since I was last on a bike and that I hope its as leisurely as they say!

I've been emailing someone who works for Exodus that has done this trip and she's helped out with a few of my questions. She confirmed that malaria medication isn't required. I will send her a quick email about the cycling day to see what words of advice she has.

Zareena

Anonymous
Thu, 02/18/2010 - 15:20

Zareena

Thanks! It would be great to have an insiders view!!!!!

36 days and counting! Not that I'm excited or anything! :o)

Anonymous
Tue, 02/23/2010 - 15:19

Hi,

Didn't get advise about shorts, helmet etc but was told that its extremely leisurely with many photo ops along the way.

Was -5c this morning on my way into work. Bring on some warmth!

Zareena

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 16:35

Hi, went on this trip in Dec 09, can confirm cycling is leisurely.  No one had cycling shorts or helmets, just wore our normal clothes (along with waterproof jackets as it did pour down for part of it).  Mosquitos are out in force (but no need for malaria tablets), so take a good repellent with you - also a spray one with deet is good in case you get any leeches on the jungle walk!  It's a fabulous trip, have a great time.

Anonymous
Tue, 02/23/2010 - 17:41

Thanks Zareena. Thanks Karen.

Still snowing here, I can't wait for the feel of warm sunshine on my skin.

32 days and counting!!!!! :o)

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 18:38

I was on the trip with Karen and here are a few things.

You do not need anti malarials, but there are still mosquitoes so bring bug spray.
Normal gear for cycling is good enough, though as Karen said we needed waterproofs. I'd wear shorts though as I think chain guards were thin on the ground. There were quite a few that hadn't ridden a bike for years and they survived!

Six of us did Adams Peak including me. If you are doing the Adams peak walk then you will leave the hotel at midnight for a two hour drive to Adams peak. You might be able to snooze in the back of the minivan, depends how easily you fall asleep. Most of us went to bed around 7 or 8 to get a few hours sleep before getting up at 11:45 and heading to reception. A torch is not needed for the walk as it is lit all the way. I carried a head torch on this holiday and didn't use it once, or any torch for that matter.  If you do Adams Peak you will miss the jungle walk in the morning as you will be driving back whilst that happens.

In December we needed fleeces and waterproofs. Be prepared for a days walking on Horton Plains.

Do go for a walk around the lake in Kandy at some point, you'll be amazed at the wildlife there is around it in the centre of town. Quite a few of my best photos came from that walk (still processing)

If you click on my face to the left you can see I have uploaded some photosto Exodus's website for this trip. There is a photo of the bikes so you can see what they look like. There are even more here
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wanderlustg/sets/72157622930601331/
I hope to upload the rest sometime ...

I'm around for another 12 days before I head off to the Galapagos Islands if you want to quiz me about anything else regarding my experience of this trip.

It's a great trip, and if you get Roshan as your local guide, whichyou most likely will, you'll have an even better trip.

Graham

 

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 19:15
Anonymous
Tue, 02/23/2010 - 19:41

Graham, thanks for the info, looking at your photos will keep me out of mischief this evening!

Can you tell me-was the food generally organised for you or did people go off and do their own thing? I have a severe fish allergy and my trouble on these trips is often that loads of food or a buffet is ordered and I end up paying but not eating much! Great for the waistline though!!!

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 13:31

Hi Vanessa,

You often eat as a group as a lot of the time it's the only pratical way, e.g. lunch stops on the move, hotels inout of way places so there was no choice. The exception to that was Kandybut eneded up splitting into two sub-groups for dinners if you see what I mean. Virtually all the hotels offer a buffet for dinner (unless the group are the only guests) and you are welcome to take it if you want to, and many people did. I and some others actually tended not to go for the buffet but went for the a la carte. My reason was I didn't need to eat a mountain of food and was happy eating Sri Lanakan food (the buffets were international and local). Our group went for separate bills, a lot of the time the hotels wanted to put it on your room anyway. Tell Roshan / your local guide immediately about the fish alergy and he/they will make sure you are looked after. The Sri Lankan rice and curry (note the order, it's not curry and rice) is great and filling and you decide if you want chicken, fish, occasionaly lamb. I'd stay away from beef as it's not that widely available (Hindu sacred animal) and the beef that is offered is not what shall we call prime qualit.

Hope that helps

Graham

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 13:34

Forget to say a la carte takes more time (obviously) and do not expect western timings. Could be 20 minutes but more likely 40 minutes. So order early. The hotel on the beach (no buffet) even came round an hour before hand to ask what we all wanted and when we wanted to eat, so that worked well. To be honest chatting over a beer you hardly notice the time anyway.

Anonymous
Wed, 02/24/2010 - 19:11

Thanks for all the info Graham and your photos are great!

Really looking forward to going. Took delivery of my new camera yesterday....4 weeks to play!

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 19:36

Hi again Vanessa,

I've been in contact with Rushan and he will be your guide on the 27 March. He said to tell him at the start of the trip and he will write it on a piece of paper in Sinhala so that you can show it to the Hotel staff / restaurants. This will make sure that you wont be served fish.

Enjoy learning about your new camera before the trip, you'll get so much more out of it that way.

Anonymous
Wed, 02/24/2010 - 19:44

Graham,

You're a star! Thank you very much for that. :o)

Hopefully Roshan will keep me out of trouble!

Vanessa

Anonymous
Mon, 03/01/2010 - 20:25

How's everyone doing? I think I'm packed! Well not actually, but its all lying beside my rucksack waiting to be stuffed in there any which way it will fit.

My flight from Edinburgh gets me into Heathrow at about 3pm and the group flight isn't until much later. Is anyone else going to be around so early on and if so, do you fancy meeting up? My biggest anxiety about travelling on my own is the 6 hours in Heathrow so would appreciate the company :) 

Zareena

 

Anonymous
Mon, 03/01/2010 - 20:43

PACKED!!!!?????!

NO way!

Just been diagnosed with tonsillitis so not a happy bunny. :o(

I don't know what time I shall be getting to Heathrow, relying on my brother for a lift so......!

Anonymous
Wed, 03/03/2010 - 22:51

Hi Zareena

We're flying down from Edinburgh too but our flight doesn't get in until 19.35 - that is if it's going at all. We booked with BA and are still waiting to hear about strike details. Did you manage to get a BMI flight? I'm impressed by the early packing. Can't wait for some sun now. I checked the weather last week and it was a minimum of 22 and a max of 34 C. Bliss. We'll probably see you in Heathrow. 

 

Bela

Anonymous
Thu, 03/04/2010 - 09:11

Hi,

Yeah I opted for a BMI flight. I was booked to go to New York over Christmas with BA and the whole proposed strike action was extremely stressful. Even after calling the strike off, our flights were cancelled (with 6 hours notice) due to snow which is fair enough but other airlines were still running flights from and to the same destinations. So after a stressful run up to Xmas and then a miserable one spent at home instead of in NY, I've decided to give BA a wide berth. I decided to also get on a earlyish flight to Heathrow so that I could still get a later one if that one was cancelled for some reason. The whole experience has made me travel paranoid!

You should hopefully be ok though. They've said they won't strike around Easter and they need to give a minimum of one week's notice for strike action.

Zareena

 

Anonymous
Thu, 03/04/2010 - 10:03

Zareena,

Sounds like your  Christmas experience was horrible.

Let's hope we can all make up for it & have a Fantabulous Easter in Sri Lanka!!!!

Anonymous
Fri, 03/05/2010 - 15:13

Hi All,

Wow, I am very impressed and reassured by the efforts on this forum.  I have been on a number of tours with different companies however this is my first trip on my own!  My travel buddy has just become a student again and so can nolonger afford holidays! 

I am very excited although I must admit I have been so busy lately that I have not yet had time to think about the holiday until today really.  I was relieved to find out that all my vaccinations were up to date!

It is great to hear that a few of you are up for climbing Adam's Peak as I really want to do this.

As I booked late there were no spaces left on the group flight from heathrow, my flight lands half an hour after the group one and so I will be meeting you at the hotel.  I know it is a long shot but is anyone else flying solo with Qatar Airlines- on a flight leaving Heathrow at 20.30 on the 28th March???  The flying on my own bit is my only concern as my visual spatial skills are really poor and I worry that I may end up lost in the middle east somewhere when the tour is supposed to begin!!!  

Does anyone know how many of us there are on the tour? 

Vanessa-although I am not allergic to fish I don't eat it or shellfood and so we can help each other out with that one- I don't think it will be a problem though as I think the food will be either meat or fish.

Looking forward to meeting everyone,

Take care,

Emma

Anonymous
Fri, 03/05/2010 - 16:43

Welcome Emma!

I'm hoping for some nice vegetable curries like they do in India but I'm not sure the Sri Lankans are into those!

All the middle eastern airports are signed in English and easy to find your way around so I'm sure you'll be fine.

Andrew joined late and I believe is number 19....on a trip for 18 max!!! I'm sure we'll all have fun, he may be going on your flight?????

Looking forward to meeting you 22 days and counting! :o)

Anonymous
Fri, 03/05/2010 - 16:48

Emma???  

I just re-read your message.

Do you mean 20:30 on 28th of March?????

Group flight departs 21:25 on 27th of March.

Anonymous
Fri, 03/05/2010 - 18:40

Final joining instructions....

YAHOOOOOoooooo!!!!

:o) :o) :o)

(Not that I'm excited or anything!)

Fri, 03/05/2010 - 18:57

We arrive Heathrow T4 at around 17:30 - 18:00 so will be around before check in if anyone wants to meet up somewhere near the Sri Lanka check in desk.  Will have two blue Gelert soft wheelie holdalls and North Face rucksacks.  B is going grey and I'm dying my grey sort of blonde.  We will look out for people too.  Not started to pack yet but have been checking and think we have most of the things we need, might have to buy a few toiletries etc.

Can't believe 19 what a huge group !!!!

Sat, 03/06/2010 - 13:38

I'm on the group flight on the way out, but fly back slightly earlier.

Anonymous
Sat, 03/06/2010 - 14:26

Hi there everyone!

Just asked the nice people at Exodus and they say there are in fact 16 people on the tour!

At least that's a few less names to remember!!!

Managed to find myself some shorts.....I wonder why there aren't many around??????Mmmm - March might have something to do with it!

Sat, 03/06/2010 - 16:54

There was a veggie on our trip and they did fine. There always appeared to be a vegetable curry as well as the meat ones.

Anonymous
Sun, 03/07/2010 - 15:13

My flight leaves the 27th so no worries-my typo!  (I did get worried for a minute and had to double check thou!).  I have never travelled in such a big group-I guess the more the merrier!  I have started to sort some things for the trip now and am reading my lonely planet-getting excited!!!!!

Anonymous
Sun, 03/07/2010 - 19:18

Phew!!!!!

Emma I'm glad it was just a typo. :o)

Had a rummage today to find some sunny weather clothes - felt more like it with the sunstreaming through the window!

Anonymous
Tue, 03/09/2010 - 19:54

18 more sleeps :o)

Anonymous
Fri, 03/12/2010 - 11:21

Bela,

Just seen the announce from BA. How frustrating for you! I honestly thought they would avoid that weekend. Have you had a think about what you're going to do? Its that horrible dilema of do you make alternative travel arrangements or hang tight to see if they call it off.

Hope its not causing you both too much stress.

Zareena

Anonymous
Sun, 03/14/2010 - 19:24

Yes we've been caught by the BA strike but rather than wait to see if they manage to sort it out we've got refunds and re-booked with BMI to fly down to Heathrow on Friday night now and will stay in a nearby hotel. It saves the stress of not knowing. 

Really looking forward to some hot sunshine and some hot curries too - I do hope we get to try some authentic local food as I'm not keen on International buffets in hotels and find they're the best way to pick up stomach bugs too because it tends to hang around for so long - death by buffet I call it!

We'll see you at the airport no doubt. I'm small and Indian with longish black hair and will have a dark green & pink rucksack and daysack. Dave's medium height with brown hair. Not sure that will help at all in the crush of people but worth a try.

Hope you're enjoying the unexpected springlike weather up here by the way!

Bela

 

 

Bela

Anonymous
Sun, 03/14/2010 - 19:31

Glad to see you got sorted Bela.

I agree about buffets, I hate them - always end up paying but not eating!

Hopefully if there are enough of us who would like to eat elsewhere the guide can point us in the right direction...bit worried though as previous comments suggest there may well be no nearby alternatives!

13 sleeps & counting! :o)

Anonymous
Wed, 03/17/2010 - 20:36

Money money money!!

What's everyone doing about money?

Sterling? Dollars? Cashpoints????

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