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 April 2018
    Martin Patterson

    Gokyo lakes and Everest base camp

    Having arrived in Katmandu via Delhi we were met by our tour guide Shailesh Tamang who for the next 19 days would be our go to advisor for all things Nepalese. The first night was spent in a Katmandu restaurant getting to know the rest of our group as well as sampling some of the local food. The next morning saw us all gathered for a pre dawn return to the airport in preparation for the flight to the mountain airstrip at Lukla in a small 16 seat aircraft. The views of the mountains and valleys during the flight gave us a sample of the sights we would experience during our trek. On arrival at Lukla and our baggage given over to the porters, who with seemingly superhuman strength carried 2 or 3 bags each, and we were off on our first day of trekking in Nepal. The first day of trekking was fairly short to ease us into what would progressively become tougher days of knee jolting foot pounding trekking. Our days took on a familiar routine of 7am breakfast, trek for a couple of hours then stop for refreshments at a teahouse then move on until lunch was taken at another teahouse and then onwards again until mid afternoon to our accomodation for the night. The teahouses are clean and very basic but do provide everything needed for this type of trip. Throughout the days of trekking there are a constant stream of porters, mules and yaks moving up and down the trail with supplies which adds to the whole experience of trekking in this mountain wilderness. The scenery is constantly changing as new valleys and mountains come into view at every turn of the trail, remember to look behind you as this view is as stunning as what lies ahead. During our trek we experienced weather that allowed walking in shirt sleeves as well as hand numbing bitter cold, so a good set of warm clothing is essential. There were a couple of extra early starts to climb Gokyo Ri and Kala Pattar to view sunrise over Everest which was well worth the extra effort. Our trek up and over Cho la pass was particularly tough as we had to walk through snow and when we started our descent more snow fell upon us, which for me just added to the whole experience. All in all this trip has left us with some amazing memories and a yearning to return one day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many moments during this trip that will leave a lasting memory. Ascending Gokyo Ri and Kala Pattar pre dawn for views of Everest, making it up and over Cho la pass despite the adverse weather conditions and reaching Everest base camp.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Shailesh Tamang was always available to answer any questions and give help where necessary. His years of experience of leading in the mountains was quite evident as he successfully got 12 trekkers of varying experience safely from start to finish achieving all the goals set out in the itinery.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Listen to the advice of your tour leader and guides, this is their back yard after all. Don't underestinate the effects of AMS or how cold it can feel at night. Make sure you prepare yourself physically for the rigours of this trip to ensure maximum enjoyment.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Tracey Patterson

    Everest & Gokyo Lakes Circuit

    Had a great time. Was very hard trekking but the sense of achievement is worth it. Saw lots of fantastic scenery and experienced lots of weather conditions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Making it to Everest Base Camp and the top of Kala Patthar.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shailesh Tamang was a good leader and looked after all members of the group. He knows his country and imparts his knowledge well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit enough for this trip. Make sure you have micro-spikes or equivalent and know how to use them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I believe the rating on this trip needs to be increased as some parts of the trek are hard work.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Jodie Boldy

    Amazing adventure

    A great trip to take you on a journey through the Himalayas seeing some breath taking sights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The two highlights for me were summiting Gokyo Ri and crossing the cho la pass. Also I got engaged on an acclimatisation walk over looking macherno peak which was very beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was brilliant could not have asked for better. He is very approachable and knowledgeable. He took great care of the group and his advise was priceless, he was very encouraging on the tough days and always had a smile on his face.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would advise to take Diamox for altitude and also ciprofloxacin in case of stomach upset, better to have it and not need it. I took a small hot water bottle for the night time which was brilliant and the water is still nice and warm to wash your face with the following morning. Snacks are a good idea, you can buy them in the tea houses but they are expensive the further up you go. We had a solar charge which folds up when not us use has about 3 panels on it this was really good you can just attach it to your day pack through the day. Steri pen for the water as it gets to cost a lot if you buy mineral.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip seemed a good all round trip. If anyone is thinking of doing a trip I would defiantly advise this one. The classic base camp trek is fairly busy, so this was a nice alternative and you still do base camp. Base camp seems to be the thing to do however I must say I found Gokyo much more stunning and the views from the top of Gokyo RI breath taking.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Gillian McFall

    Everest and Gokyo Lakes

    A fantastic first experience of Nepal ... and hopefully not my last

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The emotions that came out at Base Camp showed how much the trek meant to some people and I'm happy to have shared that experience with them.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shailesh was very informative about what each day would involve ensuring that we were well prepared. He looked after the group well and was careful to check for any health/altitude issues which was reassuring.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Eat plenty apple pie!! :-)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Getting off the main Everest Trail for a few days was lovely, much quieter and a welcome escape into the beautiful goyko area. I would recommend this route.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Emily Green

    Excellent trip of a life time

    A trip of a life time! One I'll never forget. I am very pleased that I went early in the year because it was as a lot quieter on the routes than I've heard it can be in September/ October. The weather was very cold though, but the mountains and scenery looked stunning in the snow. A stunning part of the world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Everest Basecamp was very special, and a life long dream. However for me climbing to the summit of Kala Patther whilst the sun was coming up over Everest was even more special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Tenzi and his team were incredible. They thought of our every need before we did. Nothing was too much trouble for them. They did everything with a smile and were very attentive to making sure we were all ok. Incredible people - thank you!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of warm clothes if you are going early in the season. Also some gaiters. A number of good base layers is handy. A portable battery charger is really handy too. Favtor 50 sunscreen is a must!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An incredibly beautiful and challenging trip. I'd highly recommend it. I loved the longer trip with the additional Gokyo Ri and Kala Patther summits. Basecamp was great, but doing all 3 made it even more special.
  • Reviewed May 2016
    John Doyle

    Full Marks 10 out of 10

    This trip was everything I expected, and wanted. A journey up the relatively quiet Gokyo valley, then some very strenuous days, and then a relatively easy, but busy descent down the Khumbu. Crossing Cho La was hard but one of the best days. Our Leader,Silas, and guides Mingma and Pembar, were excellent. Also a word for our 4 porters, they did an incredible job,always willing, happy and smiling. My previous 2 trips to Nepal were in tents, but no more for me, the Tea houses make for a much more pleasant trip. This trip is long enough and varied enough, and strenuous enough to satisfy most people,and give a broad and varied look at life in this amazing country. Thanks

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Crossing Cho La

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    WI Fi is very common throughout most of the trip, much more common than mobile, although often unreliable. Take a solar powered battery bank,very useful. Most of us spent about £20/day out on the trails. Views on Diamox were mixed, some took it others not, we all managed to hit the high spots without any altitude problems.
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Chris Grant

    Worth the extra few days!

    If you want to see Everest Base Camp and climb Kala Pattar but don't just want to go up the valley and back down again, this is the trip to choose assuming you can spare the extra few days. This longer circuit, taking in both Gokyo Ri and one of the High Passes (Cho La), is well worth it: it's quieter, has stunning views in its own right and will allow you more acclimatisation time prior to the regular Everest bits. I can safely say it was the most varied, wonderful and fulfilling 15 days' walking I've ever done, and I'd recommend it to anyone with two feet and a head for heights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having a long-awaited glass of wine at the Everest View Hotel on a perfectly clear morning (trek day 14) - that was pretty special. The views from Gokyo Ri, Cho La, EBC and Kala Pattar were more staggering than I'd ever have believed, and the routes in between these high places were beautiful as well. But the biggest inspiration was seeing how the local Nepalese people have bounced back from disaster and continue to make their way in the world. Tourism is the lifeline of that region and it felt good to contribute to their ongoing recovery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I'd had a great leader on my previous Exodus trip (Hamid on the Peaks and Valleys of the High Atlas) so I'd booked this specific trip because I'd heard good things about Valerie Parkinson. I wasn't disappointed: she *is* Exodus in Nepal and made a great trip into a glorious one. Everything went like clockwork without any fuss or bother; she lives and breathes her job; and she's happy to share her seemingly limitless knowledge. Full marks, and then some!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In no particular order... There's a lot of climbing but the distances aren't too far. I wasn't able to do much in the way of appropriate preparation walking but I cycle regularly, and this helped build the thighs up for the ascents - definitely worth considering if you can't get some prep walks in before you go. I took a Steripen with me to save having to buy "mineral water" which is effectively only UV-filtered anyway - this helps reduce plastic bottle waste and also pays for itself over the course of this one holiday. A water bladder for the backpack is better for ensuring you take on enough liquid whilst walking, though a bottle is also vital in case the tube freezes in the early mornings (happened to me once). I also invested in a 16,000 mA power pack from RavPower, which, although heavy, was enough to recharge my Steripen 4 times, my camera 4 times, my phone once, plus someone else's phone and camera, and still have 20% or so left over - much better than trying to charge your devices at the lodges, trust me. There's plenty of snacking material for purchase in lodges (bars, Pringles, chocolates and the like) so there's no real need to bring stuff out with you unless you have specific requirements/tastes - this also helps you keep below the 10+5kg weight limit on the plane. I managed the whole trek without taking diamox (though a couple of Ibuprofen were needed one night to suppress the altitude headaches) or using trekking poles (that may just be a personal thing - most people used them). Mobile and Internet access is available in most places but is sketchy above Namche Bazaar so I didn't bother, and it was liberating. Bring a pair of comfortable earplugs if you have difficulty sleeping - there can be a lot of snoring at altitude and the lodge walls are mostly plywood so don't exactly cut out the noise from neighbouring rooms. I managed with a good 3-season sleeping bag since all lodges have blankets/quilts to provide extra layers (travelling in March/April). There are more Western-style toilets than you might have feared but you will need to use squat toilets before the end of the trip, promise... And when you're back in Kathmandu make sure you go to Fire & Ice for a pizza/dessert - what a treat!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my second Exodus trip and my second 5-star review. If I could have given this 6 stars I would have because I enjoyed every minute - yes, even the 04:30 wake-ups. This is a special trip in a special country, and if you get the weather and a bit of luck like we did, you too could have a trip of a lifetime to the roof of the world.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Helen Smith

    Trip of a lifetime!

    This trip is hard work, the altitude is hard work and some days I thought I could walk any further, but it was so worth it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The group were awesome and getting to base camp with everyone was great fun!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngima and the guides were funny, supportive and very knowledgable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My Walking sticks were so useful!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'm So glad I did this trip
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Marlisa Paice

    The trip of a lifetime!

    This trip is incredible! It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life but well worth it and I am so pleased I did it! The guides were fantastic, up early every morning to get us ready and last to bed at night, working non-stop to make the experience as good as possible! A week after I got back to the UK I was still shell-shocked about what I had achieved and just bowled over by the whole experience. The world is there to be seen! :)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Base Camp!! - Has to be really doesn't it, iconic place and great atmosphere when you get there! Such a sense of achievement.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngima was just incredible, most of the guides caught colds and chest infections while we were out there but they kept going with their unending enthusiasm and good spirits! They were always there when we had bad days and never stopped watching us to make sure we were having a good time!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To get the most out of this trip I really would recommend a few things. Pack light! Take loads of photos. Enjoy every minute! Most of all I really believe I would have enjoyed it more if I had done some serious hill walking training - I made it with barely any training in that department although a reasonable level of general fitness but I think I would have benefited from more training on hills!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are in two minds - just book it! The Nepali people are some of the nicest I have ever met and this is such an amazing experience. It's really put my privileged life into perspective!
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Martin Brennan

    One for the bucket list

    Tough but rewarding trip with a great bunch of people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Though not for the faint-hearted, the magnificent and rugged landscape, the tough/arduous trekking, and the tranquility of the journey allows you to put things into perspective. This, combined with a fantastic group of people, made for a most enjoyable and memorable trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngima was an inspirational leader, always there with encouragement and humour to ease our journey. Ngima kept us informed throughout our trek and, along with his chief and assistant guides, made this a hugely memorable (and educational) experience for our group. (I think a special mention for the porters and Yak driver is in order; these guys, through their hard work and efforts, made the logistically challenging task of moving sixteen people's kit look easy. The work that the whole team put in made this trip a seamless and enjoyable experience. Well done all!)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a tough but rewarding trip that is both physically and, at times, mentally demanding. While the group interactions and dynamics can help with mental side of things, the physical is something only you have control over; preparation is key to ensure that you are prepared for (and adapt to) the tough trekking and altitude that you will encounter. Without a doubt I think almost all of my group found the trek difficult at one stage or another, but the fitter and more prepared that you are the better and more enjoyable the trip will be.
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