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

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152 Reviews

  • 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.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Kay McCulloch

    Maximum fun

    A trip I will remember for ever! Sri Lanka is a beautiful country and Suresh is an absolutely outstanding leader, who made sure we experienced the very best of it. The cycling can be challenging - plenty of hills and heat - but the distances and hills build up over the days so that your fitness increases to be able to manage each stage. The scenery, birds and animals are beautiful. I'd struggle to identify more than a robin in England, but by the end of the trip was able to tell the difference between a bee catcher and a kingfisher flying past. What really made it special for me was Suresh's attention to detail and the special experiences he arranged - street food in Kandy, stopping to buy fish from the market for dinner, the evening visit to a multi faith temple, and multiple tea stops in local places for tea, lentil cakes, fudge and other yummy snacks. Just don't expect to lose any weight on this trip - my Fitbit said I burned 4,351 calories on the climb to Nurwar Eliya but I'd say every single one of those was replaced with the maximum damage we did every night with the delicious food and Lion beers!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    1. Reaching the top of the climb to Nuwar Eliya with a lot less difficulty than I thought and realizing just how fast my fitness had improved over the space of a week 2. Reaching the bottom of the downhill from Ella (I'm terrified of heights but with Suresh's patience and encouragement I was able to complete it) 3. Watching the sunset from the top of mini Adam's Peak (with thanks once again to Suresh for holding my hand to get me up and down!) 4. Watching a serpent eagle soar down the tree lined road in front of us as we cycled along And a very memorable one was eating a delicious dinner by candlelight in a private house in Ella during the biggest power cut Sri Lanka had experienced in 20 years!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ten out of ten fantastic! I cannot fault Suresh. He got to know everyone as individuals incredibly quickly and made sure each of us was well looked after. I have a melon allergy (bizarre one I know!) and the staff everywhere would produce alternatives without me needing to ask. I also wondered why dogs were being magically ushered off the road in front of me by Suresh's team. Suresh had spotted I am nervous around the dogs without me saying a thing, and had briefed the team to help me out! And he held my hand whenever I felt scared of heights! He also let those of us who wanted to cycle fast have the opportunity to do so, whilst also accommodating those who wanted to take it slower, whilst still making us feel like one tight knit group. He is efficient (bags always in our rooms before we got there because he memorized whose was whose on day one), resourceful (magically transporting forgotton glasses and phones across the country to catch up with us) and patient (see previous example!). He constantly added little extras (which I won't identify so as to not spoil the surprise for others!) and I'm really touched by his thoughtfulness. He is patient, kind, fun, knows Sri Lanka inside out, has a talent for getting the measure of people quickly and managing a group, and is obviously respected and liked throughout the country. I can't thank him enough for making this such a special and unforgettable trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Take a lot more sunscreen than you think you need - it is very hard to find sun lotion in Sri Lanka and highly unlikely you'll be able to buy more during the trip 2. Same goes for hand sanitiser 3. Plan to hand wash a lot – my washing line came in very handy and there is enough time each evening to rinse a few things out 4. Don't be afraid of the dogs. Most are fine and by the end I didn't even mind the barky ones - they won't actually bite you. If I'd realized that earlier and relaxed about them, the first couple of days would have been more fun 5. Take a baseball cap/other hat as the sun is very strong and you'll need one for times you're not riding

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just to say once again a huge thank you to Suresh for a wonderful holiday.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Linda Farrant

    Cycling the backroads of Sri lanka

    Before we went on this trip we wondered if it would be too challenging. We are reasonably fit leisure cyclists and thoroughly enjoyed cycling through a beautiful country. Yes some days were long & it was hot but we coped & enjoyed & had such a feeling of achievement. The support vehicle was always there if the heat or hill became too much & on the longest hill climb several made use of this for a short distance. You could stow the bike for a few km & get back on again when you wanted.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many. But the beauty of the country we cycled through & the views from being on a bike & cycling through rural countryside interacting with really friendly local people was a great experience

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh was the best leader so far on any trip we have done & made it all go so smoothly. And he always had cold Lion beers ready for us as we arrived at the hotel. What more could you ask for!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take electrolytes & keep drinking loads. It's amazing what you can achieve . The good cyclists all know they can do it. It's the leisure cyclist that may be not sure. Loads of snack & rest stops built in & the team look after you all the time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A superb trip of door to door riding through a lovely country with cultural experiences on the way. It's a great experience to cycling into the hotel at the end of a great days cycling & dip into a swimming pool after first downing a Lion beer!!!
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Trevor Acreman

    One of our best holidays ever!

    A fantastic mix of scenery, culture, history and wildlife all observed from the saddle against a backdrop of highland tea plantations and forest or lowland Paddy fields. All fuelled by delicious local food including curry and fresh pineapple, papaya and bananas - aided by bucket loads of tea and tasty snacks on the roadside! So much packed into a small country and a short holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of the highest hill (1900m) and getting a big cheer!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh was passionate about his country and sharing it's highlights. He did this with great knowledge and humour but most importantly he took time out to make everyone feel they were personally welcome and that they were happy with their daily experience

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go as soon as possible!
  • Reviewed January 2016

    Sri Lanka cycling january 16

    Just back from exhilarating trip. It's fun, it's tiring, it's varied. The cycling is challenging enough to give a real sense of achievement. Plenty of time for sight seeing and relaxing especially later on. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with very friendly people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at old colonial era hill country mansion after 2500 metres of climbing to Nurawa Eliya. Walking up on Sigiriya rock, especially if you don't like heights.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh was excellent, just the right balance of humour and directing us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Cycling is quite challenging on the climbs and in the heat but only 3 of our group made use of the support vehicle and then only for short periods, no-one took the train. c half our group used cleats but they're not essential and on the un-made up or very busy roads could be tricky.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Book it.
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