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Turtle, Ecuador

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

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48 Reviews

  • Reviewed February 2012
    Anonymous

    CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: KVITAVATN

    Back at Kvitavatn again for another year and as always a 5 GOLD star experience. The tuition and leaders are platinum and the place is so friendly and relaxed that it feels like home and I do keep coming back for all of that.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sparkly days up high with amazing views - didn't want to be anywhere else on earth.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ilse & Mary are fantastic, they tick all the boxes and I cannot speak more highly of them if I tried.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go, you wont regret it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'll be back again next year, cannot wait.
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous

    CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: KVITAVATN MARCH 2011

    Relaxed informal base with great tuition and variety.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of Onapeia (excuse spelling!) was a high point in terms of views and the challenge of aiming for a summit. I equally enjoyed the off track routes dodging, or not!, the trees and overhanging branches through the forest. I had a birthday whilst on holiday and Ilse had noticed this and made an effort to make sure I felt special that day which was a lovely quite unexpected gesture.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ilse and Mary led the group. Mary's patience with technique coaching saw me get my first ski award. Ilse knows the area and local snow conditions better than the back of her hand and is a natural teacher inspiring confidence in the most fretful amateur. The morning warm ups are ridiculously fun, and worth the effort for jiggling aching muscles into action.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that this is very much a centre that welcomes families and groups. If you want to have a quiet dinner for two, maybe book elsewhere, but we love the warm relaxed camaraderie of shared stories over the evening meal, comparing ever more exaggerated tales of the days events. Alcohol is expensive in Norway, there is opportunity to buy a beer at the lodge but you may want to consider calling into duty free before you leave the UK. You will need gaiters if you don't want boots full of melting powder snow. Take something to entertain you in the evening, if you're awake that long.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We booked one of the cabins for two people, which I would say is a very expensive supplement, but had fab views of Gausta. We had great cooks at the time we were there, vegetarian food was unusually good for this part of the world and the granola cereal speciality made by Mette should be available as an export!
  • Reviewed April 2011
    Anonymous

    CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: KVITAVATN

    Overall a good holiday for both myself and my daughter. Kvitavatn was a bit low for so late in the season (April) and the snow hadnt been great there this year, but the accomodation and the instructor were both great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My daughters enthusiasm for cross country, (it was her first time x-country) and how much she enjoyed herself.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent balanced instruction, Mary managed the different needs of the group brilliantly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I am sure Kvitavatn would be brilliant earlier in the season, when the higher fjells are too cold. In a good or even usual year it would still be OK in early April, but there is a steep climb (and desecent) to the best tracks.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Good holiday for both of us, and our instructor/leader really enthused my daughter for X country. I should add that everything was very well organised.
  • Reviewed April 2011
    Anonymous

    CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: KVITAVATN

    This was my first trip to Norway for cross country skiing and it was a step up from the track skiing I had done in Europe but great fun.   Kvitavatn is a great place to stay with a friendly informal feel.   The leaders were exceptional.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not sure if inspirational is the word but it was exhilarating to be up on the plateau skiing in very adverse conditions (ice, high winds) but with the most beautiful views of the white wild coutryside.      To get back safely in the evening after having battled the elements!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Ilse and Mary were great.   They helped navigate the complexities of waxing the skiis.   They were encouraging and thoughtful in their guidance.   They put a lot extra in with fun warm-ups and relaxing cool downs, evening activities and a brilliant photo show on the last night of our week's efforts.   I skiied more with Ilse who was truely inspirational and a very skilled instructor.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is plenty of variety for vegetarians and healthy options - I found the food excellant so need to bring any extras.   The packed lunch buffet was extensive as was breakfast.   It says in the trip notes but I did not read it to take gaiters.   Also needed are lots of layers.   No need for anything fancy for dinner!   Get fit before going - I though I was reasonably fit but my arms need a lot more work before going next time (and I will go back).   
  • Reviewed April 2011
    Anonymous

    CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: KVITAVATN

    We decided we wanted the opportunity to try more off-track skiing with metal edged skis.  Due to adverse weather (gale-force winds and high temperatures), this turned out to very challenging and, therefore, not as enjoyable as we had hoped.  Unusually, the sun shone from dawn to dusk most days; this was a bonus!  The variety of food available in the restaurant was lacking when compared to all of our other Waymark/Exodus cross-country skiing holidays in Norway. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    None come to mind for a trip of this nature.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leaders, Ilse and Mary were exceptionally good.  They were very caring & encouraging at all times and their coaching was very clear.  They gave very interesting evening presentations, which were exceptionally well prepared and delivered.  Their warm-up and warm-down (stretching) sessions were very well designed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We feel that the level of fitness required for off-track skiing is higher than that for track skiing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    On the first day. we were advised that our own xc-ski boots were unsuitable for the off-track skiing in this area.  However, unlike our boots, the hire ski-boots had very little ankle support.  With the very difficult snow conditions, we both suffered severe ankle strain & brusing.  This could have been minimised if more supportive boos had been available.  The metal edges on the skis had not been ground recently; this made for less efficient edge control. 
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: KVITAVATN

    In my opinion Kvitavatn remains the best choice for those interested in varied and challenging skiing in an unspoilt location. Expert tuition and leading,excellent accommodation and food also make this a memorable experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Setting out in the morning across the frozen lake with the crisp snow sparkling in bright sunshine and the cloudless blue sky promising a most enjoyable day.IlseIls  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ilse was an inspiration . She has a vast local knowledge , keeps an understanding eye on all members of the group,encourages everyone to learn more ,and has a strong rapport with each skier In short she is a great teacher. 
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: KVITAVATN

    This was one of the best holidays I've ever had. Beautiful scenery, good company, good food, loads of exercise and the opportunity to learn something new from excellent leaders. Hard to beat!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking down onto Kvitavatn from the top of some of the ski slopes, and knowing we'd climbed all the way up there on skis!Gaustatoppen in the morning sunlight is an uplifting sight, and the stars on a clear night are stunning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Mary and Ilse are absolutely first class. They are patient, friendly, good fun, utterly professional and kind enough not to laugh too hard when you're floundering in the soft snow! Their knowledge of the local area, skiing and obvious experience taking groups out means you can relax and enjoy your holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you get plenty of exercise beforehand as being reasonably fit will allow you to get the most out of this holiday. A small plastic box to put your lunch in may be useful too.If you get car sick it would be worth taking some motion sickness pills for the bus - it is a long and winding road, but definitely worth it when you get there.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a holiday I won't forget, having made lots of new friends and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. I will be back for sure!
  • Reviewed February 2011
    Anonymous

    CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: KVITAVATN

    Back for another year of Kvitavatn magic and yes it just gets better. It is an infectious place, keeps pulling you back.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ilse and Mary are the greatest team, they are both a pleasure to ski with. Teaching is gold star standard.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go, you will not be dissapointed.