Most Inspirational Moment
There are too many moments to choose from. The walk to the summit of Mount Sumbra was challenging and certainly tested my head for heights, but the view from the top was out of this world - we could see the snow-covered peaks of mountains in nearby Emilia-Romagna as well as the broad sweep of the Italian coastline. I also really enjoyed the free day in Lucca - it is a stunning city with a lovely walk around the city walls and some interesting attractions, including the Torre Guinigi which gives you excellent views across the whole city. And then, of course, there was the 'village walk' led by one of the members of the family that own the agriturismo we stayed at - it provided a fascinating insight into the culture of a region that is still relatively unexplored.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Sara was absolutely awesome and the best leader I have encountered in all of my trips. She had a genuine interest in each and every member of the group and nothing was too much trouble for her. She also had a real passion for the area and her close connection with the family that runs the agriturismo meant that she was (and is) a well-integrated part of the local community. I really could not have hoped for a better person to lead our trip - she was wonderful.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Be prepared for all weathers, particularly if travelling in April. The trip notes warned that snow was possible on the mountain slopes, but the snow cover we encountered was deep (apparently exceptionally so). It was easy to walk through and added to our overall experience, but I would definitely be prepared to take a thick waterproof coat, waterproof trousers and some decent hiking boots if travelling early in the season. Sara also loaned me some walking poles that were very useful when negotiating downhill sections covered in snow/rocky scree.
If the trip sounds appealing to you, don't hesitate to book. I have been on many Exodus trips and this was, for me, the stand-out one. I loved every aspect of this holiday and really wish that I could re-live the week again.