Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    FINNISH WINTER ADVENTURE - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    Lots of snow, lots of ice, lots of trees, lots of fun!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Husky trip was our agreed favourite, sledding through the snow covered forest .The afternoon when the leader took the children to play games in the snow was the next favourite with my daughter , and for me as I got the chance for a beautiful walk in the forestThe food (freshly prepared each day) was the best I have ever had on an exodus holiday.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Hanna was, in the words of my daughter "amazing" She ( and the rest of the team) were so friendly and accommodating. We travelled independantly and arrived late due to a flight delay and the team could not have been more helpful rearranging activities so that we would not miss out.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The temperatures can be difficult for children to deal with ( we experienced -32c) take lots of disposable hand and feet warmers to help keep feet and hands cosy. All the gear they gave us was excellent, and I hardly used my own clothes at all.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you want to experience the snowy wilderness, but appreciate a warm fire and a cold beer at the end of the day this is the place to go. 
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: ENGADINE

    I had a fantastic week, it was a great mix of learning new skiing techniques, having the challenge of the actual marathon and meeting a great bunch of people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Crossing the finish line after 26 miles!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eric Woolley's reputation procedes him. He is fun, patient and has a wealth of cross-country skiing knowledge. You could not ask for a better leader. He made the week run smoothly, gave us tips and advice for how to tackle the course and kept us calm when we were all getting nervous beforehand.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book it! It is a great challenge and an amazing event to be part of. I would recommend working on your fitness beforehand as it makes the distance less gruelling.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    Manaslu Circuit Camping

    A great introduction to trekking in Nepal without the crowds on the Annapurna circuit. The Manaslu Circuit is certainly the path less well traveled - and by all accounts almost as dramatic as the Annapurna circuit, but as the circuit only opened up to trekkers a few years ago - there are virtually no lodges, so you get to enjoy camping every night!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views of the glaciers as we got up to the northern part of the circuit were dramatic, along with the occassional crack as we heard chunks of ice breaking off. The views of the mountains along this part of the circuit were also fantastic, and made up for the few days we spent trekking through the valleys on the way up. Crossing the pass was also a key point to the trip - and it was good that the descent was fairly rapid - taking a lot less time than the climb up. I enjoyed the fact that most of the time we had the trail to ourselves - which isn't the case on the Annapurna circuit these days. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was great fun - with a good sense of humour, and did a good job of communicating, getting us moving, trekking, and fed (almost over fed). 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't worry about the food - on this trip you get to travel with your own kitchen staff (including an egg man - there were plenty of eggs) - and they work hard to prepare wholesome food. We had some Dhal Bhat - but most of the food was more varied (and certainly more interesting). There was always more than enough - so don't worry about going hungry!A good hiking pole is recommended and can be purchased from Kathmandu before the trip if you don't have one in your luggage (although the big-brands can be hard to find). I'd also suggest taking something like the Kahtoola MICROspikes just in case the route down from the pass is icy (although I didn't need mine). Being walking-fit before the trip will make your trip more enjoyable, however we did start-off pretty slowly - so don't expect a challenging walk from day one. The most challenging section was the cold as we left early to get to the pass, and the LONG descent after the pass itself. The descent was somewhat slippy due to gravel/scree on the path - so hiking poles were useful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The worst bit was the coach travel into the start point with a long &  bumpy coach ride; however this unavoidable (unless the trip were extended with another week's walking). If you're tall - don't sit at the back of the bus.Take a look at my travel photos and a longer description of the trip on my website:-http://andy.bryant.name/blog/2011/1/23/manaslu-circuit-nepal.html 
  • 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

    WINTER WALKING DOBBIACO

    Fitted the brochure description re level of difficulty. My first walking holiday and it inspired me to do more. Usual high standard of satisfaction from an Exodus holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Scenery was stunning throughout but the final day walking up to the top of Strudelkopf was magnificent, and steeped in historical significance too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter Verity seemed ideal for the role, set the right pace for the walking, was knowledgeable about the area, always helpful and amiable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Walking poles advisable for this trip, also spikes for boots as, at the beginning of March, there was ice about still. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Tschurtschenthaler hotel was comfortable, with pleasant rooms and a good-sized lounge. The swimming pool, though small, was a real asset at the end of the day's walking, as was the sauna. Staff were all friendly and efficient, though on occasion there was no-one on hand to serve in the bar. The one disappointment was the evening meal, which at five courses was certainly plentiful, but the quality, especially of the main courses, left something to be desired. I'd prefer quality rather than quantity personally.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    LAPLAND ADVENTURE & THE ICEHOTEL

    The huskies & the dog-sled was my favourite experience.  Just a shame that for such an expensive holiday the taxi meeting us at Kiruna Airport upon our arrival was very late in turning-up.  Not a good start, but things improved after this early nuisance.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Also loved the ski-doo's on the snow,  & the igloo building,  & we saw the Northern Lights twice on our six day stay.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring your own gloves &  mittens to fit over them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Old Homestead restaurant was expensive & boring at The Ice Hotel,  although the Ice Hotel was a fantastic experience.  One night's stay was  just enough for me though.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

    A very well organised cycle holiday, full of great experiences and meeting some like minded travellers. The place and people were fantastic and our Guide and Driver helped make the experience memorable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just sitting on the pavement in Trinidad listening to some street musicians playing marvellous music - we were their main audience and as a result of our support and applause the crowds gathered!The way a group of people can gel almost immediately and create friendships that we all know will last long after the trip  The friendliness of the people and stress free approach to enjoying life. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose was really incredible. So passionate about his country but also very keen to make sure we had an amazing experience. He was flexible when necessary and managed to squeeze the most out of the opportunities for us to experience Cuba.Occasionally his briefings were a little long but his humour and enthusiasm were infectious. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We were advised via Trip Notes and friends that we had to watch for 3 things.To quote "The food will be bland, the hotels average and take your own toilet paper "Wrong!The food was excellent, varied and healthy (I have never felt fitter), the hotels were of a good standard and toilet facilities just fine .Advice? Make sure you take insect repellant - we did and were grateful .... and high factor suncream.More advice? Go there! One extra piece of information - make sure you are fit for cycling, train before you go - it was sometimes demanding in the heat and the last day's hill climb with 30 degree heat was quite tough! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I have not travelled with Exodus before (being used to the hard slog of Charity rides) so this was a perfect balance of holiday and cycling. The organisation and itinerary were great - there was really good attention to detail. The coach was air conditioned and our bikes were stored safely on board (the bikes and mechanics were first rate too) and our driver was careful and friendly.The bottom line for me is that I would definitely use Exodus again.Thanks for doing such a superb job 
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    ANDES TO AMAZON

    A thoroughly enjoyable tour that encompassed such varied landscapes and people, as Ecuador covers a relatively small area compared to many other South American countries. We travelled from the chilly high Andes to the heat of the jungle and Pacific coast. Our guide (Pablo) was excellent. Our driver (Nelson) was careful and made us feel secure. Distances each day were not too great and most roads were good. Our accommodation and food were also good throughout. A great way to learn about and see Ecuador.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many high points - from the high mountains and snow covered volcanoes, beautiful landscapes, varied agriculture, colourful markets, varied peoples in the local dress and the delightful old towns within Quito and Cuenca. The railway journey on the rebuilt track from Alausi to the Devil's Nose switch back was great fun for everyone (not just for railway fans).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pablo was a professional - knowlegable, helpful and considerate. Cosmopolitan in outlook with excellent English. He made situations work for the benefit of the whole group on many occasions.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take varied clothing as it can be cold as well as hot. The 3 night stop on arrival at Pantavi Hacienda was good and helped overcome the effect of the long journey. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would have been nice to stop at Leito Hacienda for a second night or to find a hotel nearer Alausi rather than stopping in Riobamba.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    NILE CRUISE

    I think the Nile cruise should be on everyone's 'to do' list.  A good variety, with so much to see.   March a brilliant time to go, as not too hot, and after a revolution even better, as not many tourists! 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Karnak; seeing Tutankamun's exhibition; the Aswan Dam; floating in the Felucca at Aswan;

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Khaled was very good.  He is passionate about his country and history, past and in the making!  He was very protective of us and ensured we knew what not to do, and not to eat.   His information was great, full of history and detail, recapping each day with little tests of which Pharaoh was married to who, and who was who's father! 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    On the first day, make sure you make yourself a lunch from breakfast, as we didn't stop from being met at 12.30, till we were on the train, which wasn't until about 8 ish, and the food was not that good on the train.When in Aswan, book a Felucca ride between you for a couple of hours in the afternoon.  Amazingly chill out.   We used the Felucca ride in the morning to also stop at the Botanic gardens.Abu Simbel is more than just a facade of buildings, the paintings and carvings inside were the best we saw.If you don't like heat, then March is good.  Like a really good British Summer.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The sleeper train is definitely an experience.  A Dozing train may be a better description.   But you certainly see the countryside, which you wouldn't do from a plane.   Early morning going back up to Cairo, seeing the people outside their homes, a small truck going past with 3 donkeys on the back!   The mists over the water, with the palm trees.  Egypt as it really is.A shame about the Pyramid Parks hotel.  The notes say at the end of the holiday, to relax by the pool.  It's a lovely pool, just a shame there wasn't any water in it!An amazing holiday.  Relaxing, interesting, varied, beautiful, and blue skies and sunshine.   Thank you.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    SPICE TRAILS OF KERALA

    The trip was well organised, the group we were with mixed well and the group leader worked hard making the holiday a great success.   

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bali, what can you say, he made the holiday an experience and a pleasure, allowing us to appreciate the full wonders of India and at the same time learn about the more subtle parts of the religion, politics and every day life of Indians today and in the past.
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