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

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156 Reviews

  • Reviewed February 2017
    Robert Alexander

    Sri Lankan Highways and Byways

    A well balanced programme of moderate and sometimes very challenging cycling with lots of cultural interest as well. Our group of 16 like minded people were challenged by some rather unseasonable wet weather during the first week but in many respects this made the trip even more memorable. The cycling was a particular challenge due to the volume of traffic in towns ( lorries,vans,motorcycles and an abundance of tuk tuks ) as well as the notorious hill climb to Nuwara Eliya ( which we completed in very heavy rain ) ; however, I think we all went home feeling a great sense of achievement . Retrospective pleasure ? I was pleased to see that Exodus are supporting small enterprises - our stops for tea, bananas,roti etc were a delight. The hotels were mostly of exceptional standard and our meals at hotels and local restaurants were brilliant.Perhaps I'm biased being a big fan of spicy food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing the hill climb to Nuwara Eliya followed by our stay at the Hill Club hotel . The hill country ride to Ella and our subsequent walk to the stunning Ella Gap viewpoint. I also particularly enjoyed the day when we descended 1000 metres in altitude and on to Tissimaharama over a distance of 102 kms.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh is a top guy. No wonder he's won the Exodus leaders award previously. He must be in line again. Everything was well organised with intelligent alterations to the itinerary to cater for the wet weather we encountered. Nothing was too much trouble. Unfortunately Suresh sustained an injury to his ankle which prevented him from cycling for a few days. I think that many leaders would have handed over to someone else but he carried on ( bandaged and using a crutch ) and still with a smile, despite the fact that he was in pain. Brilliant! Mention should also be made of the back up team to include Upali the driver and Sandy the mechanic. Hard working, helpful and friendly people.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for traffic fumes in built up areas - particularly Kandy. I saw one motorcyclist using a face mask but that was it . If face masks for cycling work ( I'm certainly no expert on this ) it might be worth considering using one at times.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Lovely country and friendly people. it was a very memorable trip made more so by the excellent leader and a very special group who all 'got on' extremely well.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Ian Browne

    Backroads of Sri Lanka

    The Sri Lanka cycle ride was probably the most enjoyable of all my trips with Exodus of which I have completed 8

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several great moments therefore I am inclined not to nominate one

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh Bandara is possibly the most accomplished bike tour guide I have traveled with who was very instrumental in adding numerous special touches to the experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Sri Lanka is a great journey by bike however it is perhaps the most expensive I have traveled in Asia so far.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would like to compliment the team behind Suresh as well this includes Upali, Vijay and our backstop cyclist Sandy
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Dave Oakes

    A wonderful cycling trip around this jewel in the Indan Ocean

    A wonderful trip around a great country brilliantly led by Suresh with his excellent team ensuring everyone got the most of the holiday. A really well put together itinerary balancing cycling, culture, wildlife and fun!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not easy to pick one particular highlight but with virtually no transfers we were able to take in the sights, sounds and smells (of the wonderful cooking) as we moved from place to place by bike. Whilst the cycling was tough at times there was time to see historical monuments, visit a few temples and witness the way different religions worship and prey, sit by the pool and beach, take a short hike up a mountain, watch wildlife, eat the wonderful food and of course sample the local beer! The variety has been superb - the scenery and climate changed as we explored this gem in the Indian Ocean allowing us to see paddy fields, tea plantations, wetlands, forests and more. The roads were in general pretty good - better than most backroads I cycle on in the UK - and we tended to avoid most of the traffic. The people of Sri Lanka are the icing on the cake. The children wave and say hello as you whistle past on your bike and in general we got a very warm welcome everywhere we went.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The Exodus team were exceptional and its easy to see why Suresh has been recognised for his abilities. Not only did he make sure everything run like clockwork but he worked tirelessly to make sure we got every ounce of enjoyment from the trip, pulling out a few pleasant surprises along the way (I'm not going to say more - you will have to go and find out for yourselves!). Suresh was well supported by Upali, Sandy and Vijay who kept us safe, watered, fed and happy... I didn't have to pick up my suitcase for the whole trip and am still trying to work out how they found out who's bag was who's.... They clearly enjoy their jobs and it mattered to them that we had the best of holidays. Thank you so much.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a brolly for the occasional shower and be prepared for some early starts.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    martin macmillan

    Cycle backroads Sri Lanka

    Fantastic !

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Scenery, People, Food

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ultimate professional, knowledgeable, friendly hard working, inspirational and smart. This guy could not do more to make our holiday a success from start to finish. Hope there is an award for (Global) group leader of the year. Suresh should be the winner !

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You gotta get there!
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Kathleen Jackman

    Sri Lanka -Cycling Tour

    Very enjoyable tour of Sri Lanka, fabulous scenery and lot of distance and varying scenery over 2 weeks.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Safari tour and seeing wild life, elephants, crocodiles, sloth bear, etc.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader, Suresh, gave a great introduction to Sri Lanka and created a lovely group atmosphere from the outset. He brought us to many local spots that we would never visit as a tourist. His upbeat, happy personality worked its way through the group. He went out of his way many times to ensure that everyone's needs were looked after and 'No' was not part of his vocabulary.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a gel saddle if you are not saddle fit!!
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Anonymous Anonymous

    Ace trip

    Really great trip. Beautiful sights and excellent guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climb to Nuwara Elita was challenging (6 hours!) but awesome. Enjoyed Sigirya and final stop on beach near Galle was beautiful

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh is the hardest working leader I've ever met. He loves his country and has so many contacts en route. He secured deals for us and sent us home with gifts but above all he left us with a sense of Sri Lanka that made this a dream trip
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Ian Knight

    Best Cycling Adventure Yet ... Guaranteed

    You've read the other reviews about this trip and Suresh and his excellent team. They're spot on. Organisation and leadership on my trip were first rate. Accommodation and cuisine along the route compare very favourably to other Exodus trips we've done before. The trip provides a good blend between being a cycling challenge and a sightseeing trip, with plenty of cultural and natural highlights along the way.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The superb sunset at Ella which materialised out of nowhere was very memorable, as was the exhilarating descent the following day - it takes you through several of Sri Lanka's climatic zones in no time at all and illustrates well just what a beautiful country this is.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh and his team did a superb job. He is extremely well organised and has the knack of giving everybody on the trip just the right amount of attention and support they need. He works very hard to ensure you see the best of what Sri Lanka has to offer and is able to provide some excellent insights into the wildlife and cultural attractions you will see along the way. If you are unlucky enough to take a tumble rest assured that the team are well experienced at seeking out medical attention along the route and taking care of you.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although this trip is mostly on road, quite a few sections are bumpy or potholed, so getting a bit of practice in on an MTB, and taking a comfy saddle and cycling shorts will help you enjoy the trip all the more. If its hot electrolytes will help you keep hydrated.
  • Reviewed December 2016
    David Imrie

    BACK ROADS OF SRI LANKA

    Certainly one of the best cycle trips I've taken.....tropical spice island, friendly people, interesting history and whale watching, bird watching and National Park with elephants,leopards and more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On a visit to the National Park, we had three leopard sightings!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The best group leader encountered.....friendly, knowledgeable,organized,supportive.
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Anne Connolly

    Cycle the backroads of Sri Lanka

    This was an excellent trip, very well organised and run. Although the main focus was cycling, there was a variety of other events that made it really special - safari, whale watching, plantation visit with massage, cookery lessons, beach games, nature walk, multi-faith temple visit and more. Always something to do and to learn. We got a terrific insight into the country and way of life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I know it was a cycling trip but I LOVED the safari. To see 4 elephants and 3 leopards up close in the wild was just a wonderful experience. For the cycling, the hill climb on day 7 was challenging and gave a real sense of achievement.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh is an exceptional leader - always keeping us informed of what is going on, always checking back with us to make sure things are ok, chasing restaurant staff if we were kept waiting. When one of the group was injured, he reacted with urgency and was subsequently always on hand to arrange doctor/clinic visits. He was always giving us a little bit extra. And he was always approachable and had a brilliant sense of humour. His passion for his homeland shone through.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It got a bit cold on the hill climb on day 7 so dress for it. Some opportunities to have washing done.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    JUST BOOK IT!
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Daphne Dorman-Smith

    Superb Trip

    A fabulous 2 weeks cycling the backroads of beautiful Sri Lanka in excellent company and with a superb tour guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many...... Getting to the top of the "hill" on the day of the big climb; bombing downhill on other days; waving back at the very excited children we passed every day; seeing local life as we passed through villages; the incredible bird and animal life we saw along the way....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding. Suresh created a great group dynamic, ensured everyone was included and felt part of the team and added so many extra touches to ensure all of us had an exceptional holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    An amazing holiday. Get cycle fit and go for it. I brought a (cheap) padded cycle cover which worked well. Sunscreen (and lots of it) is essential.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Suresh turns this holiday from a great one into an exceptional one. He continually adapts (re routing to avoid roadworks) and adds to the trip (street food at a local cafe in Kandy), and ensured that we all came away with a great insight into Sri Lanka. I also got the impression that where possible, our money (eg daily tea stops etc) was going to families who needed it.
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