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Reisbegeleiding 9,0
Vervoer 7,9
Overnachtingen 8,2
Reisroute 8,4
8.3 25 beoordelingen
  • 4

    CYCLE SOUTHERN INDIA - COAST TO COAST

    You can see my earlier review and exodus answer by scrolling down.  Alas, Exodus do not invite a right to reply.  So I have posted again.1.  Don't bother complaining direct to Exodus.  They have not responded to my issues and questions as part of my direct client feedback on single supplements.  I have only done one Exodus trip and only complained once, so can't comment if this is an ongoing endemic failure.2.  I appreciate all trips are variable but looking at trip notes and the actualite:Sample delicious local cuisine including piquant Chettinad curries:  No you wont.  You will have standard buffet safe bland meals. In some circumstances cooked hours before and heated up. Especially the evening meal in Chettinadu! It is fair to say most of the lunchtime roadside meals were very good.After lunch there is plenty of time to explore the Chola ruins and magnificent Brihadishwara temple:  It's over a thousand years old.  10 minutes.  I'm not joking.the centre for traditional bronze deity casting, and there should be time to see the master craftsmen at work: No.  What a shame.the sacred abode of Lord Murugan, the son of Shiva: No; didn't see that either.safari to Periyar Wildlife Sanctury:  No, was fully booked when we turned up.  Shame Exodus don't fork out the £8 as part of a £3000 trip to reserve tickets.disembark at Alleppey, the 'Venice of the East': No; 20km away.  But of course it may not be that good.Exodus:  should I be taking this to ABTA or the ASA?Alex ps Cycling fans - you'll have a great time.  Just don't go for the culture, food, or meeting the locals - by booking this trip you are sacrificing the experience for the effort in organising your own trip...  The old conundrum.   

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 4

    CYCLE SOUTHERN INDIA - COAST TO COAST

    A well planned trip covering an interesting part of India. Good variety in the terrain, countryside and sights to see.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Food was excellent most of the time, especially the picnic and roadside lunches. Riding through the tea country was a delight.  Arriving at Vanilla Country. Welcoming happy people everywhere, and no begging.  Relaxing day spent doing not very much in Kumily.  Chettinah was amazing, but arrived at dusk so could not see the designated house. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was pleasant but not up to the job in hand and seemed unable to take charge on occasions, resulting in late arrivals and missed opportunities for previously planned sightseeing, and a lot of frustration. He appeared to have little training in coping with a group of travellers. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes before you go and select this trip carefully. Prepare for long days of 100 kms plus. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some of the hotels could be improved on - bland chain hotels a few nights.  Luggage should arrive with the cyclists and not up to one hour later.  A more competent bike mechanic would have been appreciated. 

  • 4

    CYCLE SOUTHERN INDIA - COAST TO COAST

    WARNING TO SINGLE TRAVELLERS!!Eighteenth century mansion in Chettinadu?  Not if you're single - you stay in the annex.  Plantation Mansion In Kerala?  Not if you're single - you sleep in a tent.  Yes; a tent.  After sixty miles of hard (but beautiful) cycling.  For a £600 supplement.  Which make Exodus money. Other stuff.  Too many group suppers in safe tourist restaurants with bland boiled buffets.  Same scenarios with hotels.  If you want to meet the locals, you have to make a special effort yourself and catch up with the peleton.    

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Plenty of good stuff, but if you want more than cycling, and waving at local kids as you race though villages, you have you think for yourself.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shaker is a good chap, ably supported by Abi and Franklin. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    CYCLE SOUTHERN INDIA - COAST TO COAST

    What a brilliant trip.....a must do. Cycling point to point, along back roads, seeing the most wonderful sights, through small villages, alongside ox carts, through tea and rubber plantations. Kids every where waving and calling hello. The accommodation was fabulous.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On the first day cycling through the back streets of Pondicherry, as people were beginning to go about their day, with children getting ready for school, we arrived at the beach with the fishermen mending their nets. We all had our pictures taken with our back wheels in the sea in preparation for the adventure to cycle across to the other coast.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter was brilliant, adaptable. The back up team were great special thanks to Abi and Franklin.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book no.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I loved eating and drinking tea and coffee in the little road side cafe ....places you would never go in usually, but with the real flavour of India. I believe no one got a bad tummy.

  • 8

    CYCLE SOUTHERN INDIA - COAST TO COAST

    At times I never thought I could cycle the distance. But I did it and saw some unique sights and met some wonderful people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspiring moments of my trip were seeming people go about their daily lives early morning in Pondicherry. Visiting a village school and cycling through the tea plantations.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I had fantastic group leaders. Peter who created the route was always thinking of ways to improve the experience and our local India guys have become good friends.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is a cycling holiday that happens to be in India. Not a holiday in India with some cycling. Be prepared for early mornings.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I really enjoyed staying at Vanilla County Homestay and would have liked to stay there for longer. The Temple and tour in Maduria was so interesting. I would spend less time at the bird sanctury, wildlife boat cruise and Thekkady. Allow a little more free time away from the group.

  • 8

    CYCLE SOUTHERN INDIA - COAST TO COAST

    Fantastic people, fantastic scenery and fantastic food. Guides were happy to adapt so that we could ride more and transfer less.The route ws great with plenty of chai and dosa stopsto keep the legs going.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dropping down through the mountains to Vanilla County with mist over the rainforest and waterfalls everywhere. Simply magic - so much so I had to start singing!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very flexible to the needs of the group, great knowledge of the country and culture.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    CYCLE SOUTHERN INDIA - COAST TO COAST

    A Brilliant holiday , well organised and with good accomodation. We stayed in two really amazing places and the rest of the accomodation was good. The holiday has a lot of riding and is low on bus transfers. We visited lots of temples, a tea factory and wild life park and all added to the experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most amazing day was the ride through the tea plantations, the sun was shining , the women were out picking the tea and the whole area looked perfectley manicured. There were also some numerous undulations which made a great ride.  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter the leader was absolutely great. Our trip was the second one run and he was continually tweeking and asking for feedback.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It Can be very hot for the April/May departure, a camelbak is usefiul to keep hydrated. If you feel you might be suffering from het exhaustion don't be afraid to use the airconditioned bus. Using hand gel before eating and for after loo stops wise. We had no serious stomach problems despite all the roadside snacks we sampled. Lots to photograph on the way so a camera that fits in the pocket is much more useful than a SLR ATM,s were a bit haphazard and sometimes it was necessary to try three before getting any money. Probably useful to have some hard currency just in case.  In Kochi the palace and symague are closed Friday /Saturday so if you want to visit go Thursday, when you arrive.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Good to use so many local places for lunch and tea stops. Cold towels from an iceboox would be very welcome in the temperatures we were cycling  35 centigrade + some of the time.

  • 6

    CYCLE SOUTHERN INDIA - COAST TO COAST

    Great route, but cycling in India for me is about pedalling between points of interest, rather than pedalling for its own sake - and this tended towards the latter.  That said, this was the first time the trip had been run - and I did have a damned good time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur - for the astonishing buildings and unexpected sense of calm.  And by way of almost complete contrast, the village temple festival on the road to Kumarakom, which was a riot of music and gold-caparisoned elephants.  The Chettiar town of Karaikudi had a special atmosphere too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter doesn't take sugar in his chai, which is almost unforgivable (!).  He did plan a superb route though.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't worry about the distances - the terrain in Tamil Nadu is extremely flat, and apart from a couple of hilly days in the Ghats, the cycling is not as intimidating as the distances imply;  The books on Chola bronzes in the museum at Thanjavur are poor quality, but you may be able to pick up a reasonably-priced copy of the excellent "The Sensuous and the Sacred" from one of the bookshops in Kochi instead.  This covers much of the same material, but with much better photography; The gentle hike around the Periyar / Kumily National Park seemed to be much better value that the boat trips - we saw plenty of birdlife and monkeys whilst on foot that would not have been visible from the lake;  Handmade soap is much cheaper to buy in Kumily than Kochi; If you have an early start for the flight home, there is a cafe on the roof of Kochi airport that serves a reasonable veg biryani and a very decent coffee (but no chai); Don't forget to pack your trunks - several of the hotels have excellent pools.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Perhaps it was because I went on the first of these trips, perhaps it was the dynamic of the group - or perhaps it was just me, but I was hoping for a more integrated cycling / cultural experience than I got.  Whilst appreciating that not everyone is interested in temples (although I have to recommend Michael Wood's "A South Indian Journey", which gives a great flavour of the vibrant living classical civilisation that can be experienced in Tamil Nadu), some of us are - and make the trip to India specifically to see these things and learn more about the country that is hosting us.  We did have a local guide on one day (who gave us an excellent tour of the Meenakshi-Sundareshwarar temple in Madurai), and I would have appreciated more of this level of local engagement.  Having said all of which - I'm sure I'll be back in India in the not too distant future.

  • 10

    An amazing cycling adventure coast to coast through the soul of India

    You do need to be both a confident and competent cyclist not only to cope with the wonderful mayhem that is Indian town traffic but also the distances in the heat, however the rewards of this is getting to see and visit areas of India that most do not. The sights,sounds and smells as you ride along are a delight and a photographers dream. The accommodation was wide ranging from modern hotels, home-stays and magical old Indian hotels. All the food through out the journey exceeded our expectations with wonderful Tamil and Keralan cuisine. We really had a great adventure - a highly recommended trip. Thank you Exodus!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It seemed at times we were passing through the very soul of India with its very colourful local ceremonies and all the many school children high fiving us as we cycled through their life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Shaker and his support team were excellent throughout with their mindfulness of our needs both on the mechanical side and perhaps more importantly on the relaxation and refreshment front! To get us all safely across India on a bike was no easy task!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do need to be both a very competent and confident cyclist with stamina more important than speed to enjoy this trip to the full. Take a small pocket camera with a big memory card! Tamil food has taste attitude! Enjoy!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The bikes were of high quality and great to ride although a little large for some of the ladies who had difficulty with them. Not good in the challenge of the Indian traffic system!

  • 10

    CYCLE SOUTHERN INDIA - COAST TO COAST

    A fantastic trip taking in an array of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and terrain.  As a first flavour of a cycling holiday it gave me an enjoyable experience of life in the saddle for a few days.  The culinary and cultural stops also made for a memorable holiday. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of the 13k hill, struggling up hairpin bends whilst monkeys looked on leisurely chewing branches.    Watching the sun go down over the tranquil back waters, then waking up on such a millpond with the fishermen quietly going about their business.  Banana Jam!!!!! 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter our leader was a good judge of character and tended to any needs, the back up support was also superb.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make the booking :)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You will love it 

  • 10

    CYCLE SOUTHERN INDIA - COAST TO COAST

    another great trip organised by Peter Bluck going through parts of south india hardly visited by tourists. Lots of variety in terms of scenery and accommodation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Pedalling up to Periyar, not as big a climb as the one up to Ooty but still a challenge.  Realising we had indeed pedalled from coast to coast.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter....great and never flustered.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It can be very very hot in the lowlands and I would aim for December/January departure for maximum comfort. look out for random speedbumps, I didn't see one as I was too busy looking at  village life and had a spectacular fall. Luckily no major damage and my gashed/grazed arm healed remarkably quickly....I was paranoid about cleaning it and it didn't get infected, which I think is quite unusual for India!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take a comfy saddle as there are some long days and my posterior suffered!  Get used to the idea of being photographed by locals incessantly, they clearly were intrigued by us! Take long sleeves and trousers for evenings as there are quite a few mosquitoes.

  • 10

    from the Indian Ocean to the Arabian Sea

    This was an amazing holiday and has completely converted me, before the holiday pretty much a non cyclist and very much a novice, to taking more cycling holidays. I love India and this was such a good way to get to see a lot of the real rural India. Cycling through villages, avoiding dogs, goats, cows, other cyclists and pedestrians, as well as the inevitable motorbikes, tuk tuks and buses and not a few potholes and speed bumps, was always fantastic, as the children all wave and shout hello, as do quite a lot of the adults. Its a complete joy.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Realising that I can actually cycle the distances and get up those darned hills! Its difficult to single anything out. Cycling down hill for about 13 kilometres nonstop was entertaining, and the homestay at the end of that was absolutely spectacular. The hotels we stayed in were generally very good. Every day brought new things to enjoy. We also had a brilliant group, we all got on well and encouraged each other. The food, by the way was outstanding, mostly vegetarian. I think that no one was ill with the usual tummy problems, and we ate some amazing meals, especially lunches on banana leaves in little places we would never have found by ourselves.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Seeka ( I think my spelling is wrong, apologies) was excellent, very helpful and anxious to make the most of the trip for us all. As a result everything went very smoothly. He was very entertaining and knowledgeable which was great and had endless patience. The three other guides were also great, although I must admit that I had a soft spot for the wonderful Abi, who cycled at the back of the group ( my usual place) and gave me a helping hand when I needed it!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The March trip did get very hot , about 40 degrees on a few days, which is very hot to cycle in! It was also very very humid. The trip starts of on mostly flat roads, which is good to get used to before you get to the hills, which are challenging. I took my own comfortable saddle, which I was very glad to have, as the bikes were ok, but quite heavy. Clothes that are made of modern sports fabrics that dry quickly are best, as though the hotels will do laundry there often isn't much time as most days you move on. Take plenty of pens to donate to passing children, as the "Pen, Pen" cry is often heard and it will make you very popular.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would completely recommend this trip. As i say above, I was a very novice cyclist before hand, and the furthest i had cycled was about 7 miles. I wasn't very fit, but had been going to the gym a few times a week, and whilst the fitter and more used to cycling you are the better, probably, I coped with most of the days, so i think that any reasonably fit person could do it. I did fall off a few times though, but no great harm done.

  • 10

    CYCLE SOUTHERN INDIA - COAST TO COAST

    A great new trip from Peter Bluck who created the Kerala and Sri Lankan trips. It was the first time the trip had been run so there will be some tweaking for future trips but its another winner! 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The amazing people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. There cheers, waving and welcome. We attracted a lot of attention. Tea stops could cause minor traffic jams as crowds came to greet us. It was funny having our picture taken! The ride through the tea plantations and down hill to the home stay was probably my favourite day but every day was great, diverse in scenery and interest. Chettinad is almost like being on a film set. The Sri Meenakshi-Sundareshwara temple is amazing. Coming across a spectacular festival in a temple just by hearing the music as we cycled.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The reason why I booked this trip was because of Peter. Having cycled around Sri Lanka with him I knew the trip would be good. He is a great group leader. The support staff were also great. There local knowledge steered us through some stunning back streets. We were well looked after.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Again, this was the first time the trip had been run so the itinerary might be tweaked slightly. Tickets to get inside Auroville should be booked in advance. When we arrived the next available ticket were two days later. Visit the market at Thanjavur. If you want to visit the Periyar Wildlife sanctuary, book tickets in advance if the day of arrival doesn't change. You will see more wildlife in a few minutes on the house boat than an hour in the bird sanctuary but it was worth getting up early for the sunrise!  Completely cover yourself with mosquito repellent on the boat. They were biting through clothing!  In Fort Cochin the Synagogue is closed Friday and Saturday. The Palace is also closed on Friday, so if arriving on Thursday visit these first.  If you want to see the Katharkali dancing I would also suggest booking the tickets early so you can get a seat nearer the front.  For those who like a cold beer after a hot day in the saddle be advised that a lot of the hotels do not have a liquor liscense. It might be an idea for exodus to get a cool box (not just for beer) and pick some up on the way. You might have to ask for "special tea or coffee"!   Odomos is a local mosquito repellent, widely available and very cheap.  Money - £250 covered everything including tips at the end. There are ATMs if you plan to do a lot of shopping. Camelbaks or something similar I suggest are better than bottles. I would also suggest getting/bringing a handlebar bag. There are so many photo oppurtunities. It would make life easier. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Get on it!

  • 10

    Southern India coast to coast

    If you do just one cycling trip with Exodus, make sure it's this one. It's slightly tougher than Kerala and Vietnam, but more rewarding. You don't have to be anything other than keen and reasonably fit to complete the journey (says the forty-something year old drinker and occasional smoker), but you will discover new muscles and an overall sense of achievement. But isn't that the point?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Successfully finishing a 160km day - by far the longest on the trip before I scare the horses - with my fellow travellers; exhausting but truly satisfying.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    All the staff were superb throughout.....I wouldn't have changed anyone or anything about this 'once in a lifetime' trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it, and do it now. The food, the experiences, the challenges, the weather (October), the comradery, the people and the sense of achievement make it truly wonderful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Nope.....if you're not convinced by now you never will be. Do it!

  • 10

    Cycling India from Coast to Coast

    Another great cycling trip with Exodus in late october 2014 when all official predictions for number of „wet days“ were wrong with heavy rain and flooding in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is very different from Kerala and a great experience especially since the route has been improved and covers a very interesting area with long biking sections without any traffic. The hotels and homestay were just great with good variation and luxury usually not seen on bike trips. Our drivers made sure the luggage arrived before or with the cyclists.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is difficult to pick only one moment as experiencing the caos of big cities with all their trash, traffic and human buzzling was just as interesting as cycling up the hill to the border of Tamil Nadu (Thekkady) in torrential rain against heavy waterflow or staying at Chettinah. The food was also excellent so dont espect to loose weight in spite of burning &gt;20thousand calories cycling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was pleasant, opinionated, informative and talkactive and did his job well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for long days with an early start and try to see the rain with the attitude of a farmer. Be flexible regarding the cycling distance (some disagreement was between different web trip notes, printouts and the expectations from our group leader. Causing some frustration) Because of the long cycling days there often is little time for independent exploration. Scheduled sightseeing may be very interesting but remember its optional and constant group supervision is not for all. Exploring on your own is OK as you dont disrupt the group schedule!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Small points that should not draw away from the fact that this was an excellent trip and highly recommended by me and my fellow travelers from Iceland: A better organized supply route for beer and gin in Tamil Nadu and keeping a small icebox in the support car stocked with instant coffee would be appreciated by many (invaluable on prior trips in India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Cambodia and Laos). For some travelers it is more interesting to see wildlife, curiosities (snake charmer) or small home industry (the rope "factory" on the way to Kochi) than to many temples. Finishing in Kochi should perhaps be optional as this town has nothing of interest for many (after biking through more interesting cities and villages) and created difficulties for those who decided to end the trip by relaxing on beaches (Varkala, Kovalam) 170 km south of Kochi. Perhaps finishing in Varkala should be an option.

  • 8

    Mr. Casper Ninteman

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 6

    A ride of two halves

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    Incredible India Indeed – a wonderfully memorable holiday

    This was our first visit to India so we were excited yet apprehensive in equal measures. Our holiday could not have been better and we are already looking at a return trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All the children, immaculately turned out in their school uniforms, waving and saying ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ as we cycled by. The crazy, noisy, chaotic traffic in the bustling towns. The constantly changing scenery, through small towns and villages, initially passing by rice paddy fields, endless banana and coconut trees then through tea and rubber plantations. Dipping our back wheels in The Bay of Bengal and ten days later our front wheels in the Arabian Sea thus marking the start and end of our coast to coast adventure.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shaker, the leader, was smiley, knowledgable and well organised. He navigated the group safely across India organising great lunchtime stops along the way and introducing us to many culinary delights.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The hot hilly days were fairy tough but nothing that the whole group couldn't handle. Our taste of Southern India has left us wanting to experience more of this incredible country and I don't hesitate in recommending this trip to any moderately fit cyclist.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you Exodus for a very well structured cycling holiday. Also big thanks to our cycling group – especially ‘The Kingfisher Girls’.

  • 8

    Mr. Casper Ninteman

    The cycling right across from Pondocherry , Tamil Nadu to Cochin in Kerala was a wonderful experience. Apart from one transfer we cycled all the way giving us an insight of the different cultures of the Tamil and Kerala people. From flat to awesome scenery of the Highlands and tea estates. We enjoyed the relaxing houseboat cruise on the Backwaters before our last kilometres to the other side on the next day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The temple at Madurai. Our home Stay at Vanilla country. Visit to Auroville on our first day. Chettinadu village

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader put in a tremendous effort to make everybody happy. We would go with him again.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Exodus should upgrade the trip notes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We had a wonderful time and would recommend this trip to anyone.

  • 6

    A ride of two halves

    Having completed both this & the 'Kerela & Tropical India' trips the concept of a coast to coast ride has instant armchair appeal. However the reality of this trip is that the riding in the first few days is rather repetitive & flat & would benefit from a re-think of the route to take in more hills - perhaps commencing further South? Once in the hills the riding is excellent with a great variety of accommodation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Staying in fantastic manor houses & homestays.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good organisational skills but lacking the ability to always understand the desires of the group. Fluency of English adequate but the cause of some frustration in the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare to be in the saddle for 7 hours per day - particularly in the first week. With the best will in the world there are not cold beers available after each ride. If it is a choice of this trip or Kerela & Tropical India I would book the latter first.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

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