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Popular Walking holiday
Try a host of different activities in glorious Turkish surroundings.
This is a small group adult holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list
After having completed the Bolzano to Venice tour in 2013 and having enjoyed it immensely with our tour guide (Michele Quaresimin) who was professional and competent) I was disappointed with the local operator and guide on this tour.
There were issues when an accident occurred during the tour which highlighted several problems that could easily have been avoided had the local operator had properly trained staff and an action plan in place that included carrying spare bikes and an adequate repair kit and first aid equipment.
I also found the tour price quite expensive given that it was the accommodation and breakfast only.
The sense of achievement for me to complete the tour as I am a not a skilled bike rider.
Sara was kind and lovely although a little shy. As the days went on she became more relaxed within our company.
What Sara lacked was inexperience and a knowledge of the towns we were visiting. I have a strong interest in Italy and history, so for someone to read limited information on the towns from her typed up notes, was neither professional nor interesting. I have much higher expectations of a tour leader and when you are paying AUD1700 (approx) I think everyone would agree that a tour guide needs to be professional and have a sound level of local knowledge of the towns the tour is travelling through. Otherwise why have a guide?
Carry your own first aid kit.
I would have preferred to have stayed in Alberobello township not outside of the village, as we had such limited time there to explore at the days end. A scheduled wine tour at the end of Day 4 (which turned out to be a very long day) my suggestion is that when everyone is very tired and sweaty it would be kinder to all to have an english speaking tour guide so the tour is not twice as long and lost in the translation when we are all worn out and eager to shower and rest.
I have mixed feelings about my trip to Puglia with Exodus. The hotels were excellent and the breakfasts were first class in all places that we visited and the staff and locals were all very friendly and helpful. However, the local tour operator used by Exodus did not provide the group with good customer service - i.e. Neither the group leader or the van driver knew anything about bikes and would not have been able to change a tyre if there had been a puncture - fortunately myself and another member of the group were more mechanically minded and would have been able to assist. The tool kit consisted of a tube, tyre levers and a small pump, there was no high pressure pump, no spare bikes or wheels on the so called back up van. There was no cool box in the van to keep the picnic lunches cool. The group leader had no first aid experience and carried no first aid kit which became very apparent after I fell off my bike and had a badly grazed hand and elbow. 2 bikes were badly damaged so the group (not the guide) managed to get one bike on the road after canabalising parts off the damaged bikes, and only then did it become apparent to the tour operator that spare bikes were required to be carried in the van - 2 spare bikes appeared that afternoon so fortunately I was able to continue with the trip. There was also a distinct lack of communication between the van driver and the group leader - the van driver was inexperienced driving from one place to the other and he kept getting lost - no sign of a map anywhere.
The above points are surely prerequisite if a tour operator is to provide a good holiday experience for Exodus customers.
It was a fantastic group of people and I enjoyed their company throughout the tour, and the weather was mainly sunny with the occasional shower of rain. Unfortunately I didn't find the scenery inspiring nor the cycling, however the sea at the coast was picturesque the turquoise water shimmering in the sunlight. Matera was extremely unusual with it's caves and layers of houses. Lecce the last town we visited was very pretty with lots of churches, a cathedral and an old roman ampitheater, but neither I would call inspirational.
Sara was a very pleasant young woman who came from the North of Italy and did her best to try to please the group and give us assistance with translation where necessary. Unfortunately I feel that she was rather nervous at the beginning of the tour of being with a group of more mature people however, as the week
progressed she became more relaxed and we laughed and joked more with her.
Sara was unprepared for the unexpected when I had a bad fall from the bike and badly grazed my hand and elbow, she had no first aid kit it was in the van with the driver who was in Ostuni a few miles away. I was badly shocked and in a lot of pain after the accident, however, it was the people in the group who were of assistance to me washing my grazes with water and making sure I was ok - Sara was on the phone and was unsure as to whether the driver would find us as he had no map. So she had no first aid experience and when the first aid kit did appear it was useless having a few plasters and some gel - no dressings and no antiseptic. I can't blame Sara for the first aid kit but the tour organiser should ensure that his group leader is well prepared for accidents which do happen. The driver eventually took me to the local hospital in Ostuni where my grazes were cleaned up and my elbow stitched. He kept getting lost and asking for directions, no sign of a map.
I also thought that her knowledge of the area was limited and she was rather unprepared with regards to relaying the history of each area we visited reading from a printed sheet and at times was difficult to understand as her English could have been better. Most days she had difficulty finding the hotels although she did have her Garmin Sat Nav. Sara also had limited knowledge of most of the towns and at times we walked and walked till we found a good restaurant and the food and wine in these were very good so we landed lucky. Sara should have perhaps had the foresight to google the area and find out where the decent restaurants were to be found.
On the last night Sara asked us how the trip could be improved so a few of us relayed many of the above points to her which she will feed back to the tour operator. Although Sara wasn't the most experienced tour guide she remained professional at all times and did her best to help individuals with any problems that occurred.
Ensure you take your own first aid kit and tool kit if you wish to have a more enjoyable trip than I had A road map of the area will be beneficial so you can direct the driver and the guide in the right direction. Try not to get sick in Southern Italy as the hospital was filthy and the treatment was rough and basic, however, that is perhaps a sign of the economic situation in Italy and is out with the control of any tour operator. If you want decent cycling and scenery don't go.
The tour operator should ensure that his tour guides are more prepared for the unexpected. On a cycling trip the injuries which will be sustained in any cycling accident usually involve bad cuts and grazes, fractured arms and shoulders and in the worst case scenario head and neck injuries. Every adventure activity holiday has an element of risk, however, to be unprepared for such events is unacceptable as it puts the health and safety of Exodus customers at risk.
Please visit the Exodus Travel Guide to Italy where you can find out what plugs they use, as well as more detailed Country information in the menu on the left of the page.
All the staff at Exodus share a passion for adventure travel, and are always happy to answer any questions you may have. You can find an expert for the area you are interested in here and can contact them to get further information. If you don't see your specific country listed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will get the answers you need!
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|Sat 20 Sep 14 - Sat 27 Sep 14||Available & guaranteed||
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|Sat 11 Oct 14 - Sat 18 Oct 14||Available||
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|Sat 25 Oct 14 - Sat 1 Nov 14||Available & guaranteed||
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