Most Inspirational Moment
I had always wanted to visit Pompeii, so the day visiting Vesuvius and Pompeii was a highlight. The walk around the crater of Vesuvius was really special, though quite scary at times. I was glad of walking poles and strong boots. We all returned covered in grit and volcanic ash.
Thoughts on Group Leader
The guide was excellent in most respects. He had clearly taken time to explore the whole area very thoroughly and took us on paths that some of the other groups missed. He was very knowledgeable of the area and gave us sensible advice when there were options. E.g. he warned us that the island of Capri is very touristy so those who chose to visit on the day off knew what to expect (and still enjoyed it). His instructions to the group were not always as clear as they could have been, which led to confusion on a couple of occasions.
Advice for Potential Travellers
1. The trip notes advise long trousers for walking. There was only one walk (the walk to Amalfi) where the undergrowth, for a short distance, had the potential to scratch legs. The weather was too hot for long trousers and most of us walked quite happily in shorts. 2. The notes also advise proper walking boots and walking poles. In both cases I would strongly agree. Walking boots with ankle support help to protect against twisted ankles and worse on the uneven ground and walking poles support where the ground is unstable. Also, for those with weak knees (like me) up to 50% of your weight can be transferred to poles. 3. For anyone travelling, like us, by train to Italy this is an invaluable website: https://www.seat61.com/Italy.htm.
1. A fair amount of time was wasted on the first day collecting insurance details from the whole group. This could have been done by e-mail in advance and shared with the group leader. 2. There are a number of additional charges that, sometimes, seem a little illogical. Why provide a packed lunch on every walking day and not include the cost of this in the holiday on just one day? Why did we collect EUR10 for a tip to the driver on the Vesuvius/Pompeii day? 3. Although most people arrived on the same plane from Heathrow we were not the only ones to choose an alternative route (though the only ones to come by train all the way to Naples!). Exodus could do more to advise on alternative routes. For example, the hotel has copies of the Sita bus time table from Naples to Bomerano and could make this available via Exodus in advance. It took a little ingenuity and Google Translate to obtain a timetable from Sita! Once you have it the timetable is not easy for outsiders to understand.