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Reisbegeleiding 9,0
Vervoer 7,9
Overnachtingen 8,2
Reisroute 8,4
9.4 103 beoordelingen
  • 8

    Cycling backroads in Sri Lanka

    It was very well organized. I don't think we missed seeing anything. I defiantly would not recommend the safari excursion.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the blue whales and the people the people of Sri Lanka. It's always amazing to see how other parts of the world live.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I was very impressed with our group leader. I have never experienced someone that was so tentative to the group as a whole and also as individuals. His attention to detail was immaculate.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    Cycle the back roads of Sri Lanka

    This was our 3rd Exodus trip and it exceeded all of our expectations I really do not think that any other trip would ever top the two weeks that we had in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan people are friendly and smiley, the countryside breathtaking and the wildlife is amazing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day was full of new experiences and challenges but we loved the elephant orphanage and Lions rock. Our guide Suresh took us to a temple one evening were we made an offering to the Gods and were blessed by the holy man (for a safe journey) Suresh also took us to Little Adams Peak in Ella as the sun was going down which was amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh our tour leader- what can I say words do not do justice to this lovely gentle man. Everything was planned to perfection, Suresh and his team are a credit to Exodus, they all went above and beyond their duties to ensure we had the holiday of a lifetime. Suresh organised many activities not listed in the trip notes and was at hand 24 hours a day should any problems arise. He has a great local knowledge which maximised our experience of Sri Lanka.Thank you Suresh, Sandy,Chamara, Amila and Upali for a fabulous 2 weeks we will never forget you all, such lovely people.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do not need to be a hard core cyclist but get bike fit there are two tough days.This is a group holiday and we had brilliant travel companions who all gelled from day one. Go with an open mind and try everything have faith in your leader.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There is nothing I would change about this trip the only problem we now have is finding another cycle trip to match this one!

  • 10

    CYCLE THE BACKROADS OF SRI LANKA

    An interesting and varied trip with great leader & support crew. Friendly people, lots of Buddha’s, interesting flora and fauna and some spectacular scenery.  Hot and humid initially but cooled a little as we hit the hills. Cycling was challenging for some but everyone cycled every day with a few personal firsts achieved.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The "up hilly" day that EVERYONE cycled to Nuwara Eliya. The Hill Club at Nuwara Eliya is something special too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dilip was very professional and efficient - lead a good team and the trip went very smoothly. Very knowledgeable especially about the local bird life.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It was hot - take light weight cycle shorts. There was free wifi in the all the Hotels.  Take good (gel) cycling gloves - the tramac road surfaces are good but once on the dirt roads (which have a good but rough surface) you will appriecate some padding. Worth taking binoculars for the safari day if you have space. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Whale watching was a little disappointing to those of us that had seen whales before - however we did see whales and it is in the nature of wildlife to be unpredictable.  Go for it.  

  • 10

    CYCLE THE BACKROADS OF SRI LANKA

    This has to be one of the most enjoyable Exodus cycle tours I have taken and I have taken a few! I love the Indian sub continent for its people, food, culture and colour and Sri Lanka did not disapoint. What made it stand out was the group of very special people that I enjoyed it with and the most caring and attentive staff you can imagine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me the second to last evening that we were all together as a group. The guitars of the resident band were hi-jacked and tributes,with lyrics writen by group members, were sung to the tunes of "O-bla-dee, O-blah-da", "Your Song" and "I'll tak the high road..." which express the feelings of comaraderie that had grown within the group, including the staff, and especially the leader.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Just think of all the appropriate flattering superlatives you can think of and you will have it about right

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    IT IS NOT ABOUT THE BIKE. OK I know it is a cycle tour but remember you are in a richly exotic part of the world with an interesting culture and a lively people. Take the time along the way to interact with and enjoy them. The following story is an example.  Taking my time as usual I found that I had seen no one for a while and wondered if I had taken a wrong turn, so I stopped at a wayside fruit stall to ask. Two lovely ladies who spoke no English and I, who did not speak their language, managed to communicate that the villages I was asking about were "just round the corner" and " 5 klms away" respectively, that I should take their photo in front of their stall and that here was the address to which I should mail a copy!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'll be back for more soon

  • 10

    CYCLE THE BACKROADS OF SRI LANKA

    Just returned from a fantastic trip around Sri Lanka. Exceeded expectations in every sense - the cycling, the people, the countryside, the food, the hotels, the organisations, the support - all amazing! Travelling around by bike was just the best way to see the country and all it has to offer - some beautiful scenery (much of it reached by climbing some serious hills!), very welcoming people and an interesting insight into how the country works and how people live. We were looked after exceptionally well from start to finish - I have no hesitation in highly recommending this trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many...but a particular highlight has to be reaching the top of the highest point in the country after a 2000m climb. Unfortunately we couldn't see much at the time due to the clouds and rain, but knew it was quite an achievement to have got there on a bike, especially in that weather! Luckily the sun was shining the next day so could see the full extent of the countryside and the heights we had scaled to reach it. Rest day in Kandy made a welcome change of tourist activity (lake, temple of the tooth relic), not to mention the safari (and tusker sighting!) and visits to ruins, temples, tea plantations and ancient stone carvings along the way. So much to see and do - and getting there everyday by bike was just great. Also a great group of fellow travellers, so was fun to share the adventure with a lovely bunch of people too - some good laughs along the way!  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh was brilliant. So enthusiastic, happy, keen to ensure everyone was ok and willing to help - at all times! He was more than just a bike group leader, but rather a proper tour guide and trip supervisor all rolled into one. Made us feel most welcome in the country and was always going out of his way to make sure we saw everything Sri Lanka had to offer, experiencing the food/drink/culture to the full and continuously filling us in on the background and history of places we visited.   The rest of the team were fab too - supporting us whist cycling, looking after the bikes and driving our luggage between hotels.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are looking for some varied bike riding, that is challenging at times but also rewards you with a real insight into life in Sri Lanka, then this could be the trip for you. The support vehicle and backup is always there in case of any problems or if you don't want to stay on the bike all day, plus the hotels are all of a pretty good standard so there is always a hot shower and sometimes even a pool to look forward to at the end of a day on the bike. A few tips - get a good quality gel saddle and be prepared for lots of rice & curry!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip, great experience, great memories and some great cycling (of course)... Great!

  • 10

    CYCLE THE BACKROADS OF SRI LANKA

    Best trip until now! Great country for riders, amazing people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Often when children came to say "bye!" with that amazing smile as we passed by their houses. People is comunicative although you may not share languages. Also the riding was great, the landscape is green and paradisiac and you feel the calm that we lack in cities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He couldn't be better. Always taking care of us, he planned very well the tea stops every 20km and as we arrived he always took care that everyone has the drink they want and something to eat before having something himself... and also he had personal details, and a great celebration cake when we arrived to the top of the Nuwara Eliya hill!! Also the other staff was very good, we always had water in the van to take and sometimes fresh fruit at the stops.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be fitted for the riding, as in summer it is really hot and humid. You can always jump to the van in front or the van behind, but you will savour the travel best from the bike, working out a bit before the travel is worth it! Don't be taken aback from having local food, is very interesting and you get used to spicy food. We had no problems with our bellies as far as I know.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were luky with the other travelers, they were great people!! :)   And don't forget to take some clothes for cold weather for the hill country even in august!!!

  • 10

    CYCLE THE BACKROADS OF SRI LANKA

    A great way to appreciate this wonderful country, whilst the emphasis is on cycling there are times when you explore the cultural aspects and view at close hand the fabulous wildlife. For the reasonably fit cyclist then most days are manageable with a couple of challenging ones with climbs or miles in the heat/ humidity - the bus is always close at hand if needed A fabulous trip, beautiful scenery, lovely people, great food, Suresh as an excellent guide and those back roads are quiet and better than the roads in my village - just do it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling through remote villages and hordes of smiling children waving and shouting "hello" or "good morning", the temples, the wildlife, the scenery, the hills and the wonderful food. - and the beer was pretty good too!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh is a star - incredibly knowledgeable, well organised and a great communicator. Nothing is too much trouble and he works incredibly hard to make sure all aspects of the trip are right.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Road surfaces vary between very very good and very very bad but the bikes can cope, the long miles day and the long hill climb day means some butt powder would be useful. With the heat/humidity drink plenty of water and consider gels/ salt supplements etc, personally don't think clip on pedals are necessary My best advice would be to book this trip - without doubt a truly memorable one

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    Great fun

    A superb cycling holiday through a beautiful country, and well away from the usual tourist paths. We had a lot of rain the first week, but once you gave into the rain it was great fun and bonding. The second week brought fantastic sunshine and beaches! Suresh our leader was the star of our trip and ensured everyone was well looked after. Fantastic food too...you won't go hungry!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Discovering Sri Lanka - the people are very friendly, the countryside is beautiful and the food is great.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh is a fantastic leader, and went the extra mile to ensure we were well looked after. He is hard-working, very proactive and caring. Suresh would pick up on little things we said, and take action. We had some very wet weather, but Suresh's positive attitude and playful personality ensured we all had fun and made the most of each day regardless of the conditions. Suresh also went out his way to ensure we had a very memorable Christmas in Kandy and New Year's Eve on the beach.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't hesitate - just book it! Be prepared to get wet and muddy, so take enough cycling gear to last you until you have a two night stay at a hotel and can use the laundry facilities. Don't rely on washing/drying clothing overnight in your room as things didn't always dry in time due to the humidity. Pack an umbrella (for sightseeing when off the bike)! It's a good idea to take electrolyte drink supplements, especially for the big hill climbing day and the 102km day as it can get very hot once you're on the flats. It's a lovely idea to take older cycling clothing and gear that you're happy to leave behind as the locals are keen for cycling items. I gave cycling tops and water bottles to the guide and he distributed to the local community. I also did the Maldives extension to Paradise Island and loved it, was a great place to unwind and rest your muscles.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One of my favourite Exodus trips and highly recommended to anybody who has a sense of adventure.

  • 10

    CYCLE THE BACKROADS OF SRI LANKA

    An exhilerating and exciting adventure with breathtaking scenery and amazingly friendly people. The perfect way to see this beautiful country and become a part of it, taking on the challenge of cycling its roads and engaging with the locals. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On the day of the long climb to Nuwara Eliya, we passed through such dramatically beautiful scenery that it was almost too much to handle! And then the long climb to the top was a real challenge but so worth it for the feeling once we got to the top. All the time we were cheered on and encouraged by the friendly locals smiling and waving. Such a rich experience encompassing awe, determination, pride, hilarity, exhaustion, camaraderie, satisfaction, relief and feeling overwhelmed and humble.  There was a very special moment at Gal Vihara at Polonnaruwa where there were hundreds of pilgrims including many families laying offerings at the shrines of the massive Buddhas carved into the rock. The whole atmosphere was very special. Peaceful, respectful, relaxed and warm with a real sense of importance. A little girl was talking to me and we were having a conversation, practising her English. Her uncle gave me some flowers to lay at the shrine which I then did. It was a very moving experience to receive such warmth from a local family and to have the oportunity to be part of such a special place. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh was a great tour leader. He was very well organised and knowledgeable and always happy and smiling. He worked hard to ensure that everyone was happy and had everything that they needed. He took time to get to know everybody indiviually and as a group, helping to build a team spirit as we went. He explained every stage of the cycle route to us carefully so we knew what to expect and was very kind and patient when answering our many questions. He also added some very special and kind extra personal touches and surprises to the tour which demonstrated his warmth and his desire to make us feel welcome in his beautiful country. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you would like an active holiday in a beautiful country with friendly people then this may well be the holiday for you. It is very busy and packed with amazing experiences that are different every day.  If you decide to book, it would be a good idea to make sure you are reasonably cycle fit before you set off so you can really enjoy all the cycling. And make sure you smile and wave at the locals...!  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I didn't mention the elephants, kingfishers, eagles, lizards, monkeys and peacocks. Or the colourful tuk tuks and buses, musical bakery vans, 'ice chock' sellers, cycle-by fish sellers and families on mopeds. Or the beach cricket, slow bike races, pass the hat and coconut bowling. Or the kids playing volleyball, riding their bikes, flying kites and running alongside us making friends.  Or the coconut sambal, mango chutney, curd and treacle, banana fritters, lentil fritters and ginger beer. Or the temples, markets and shrines. Or the wonderful support crew of Upali, Kasun and Amila. Big thanks to you guys, you are amazing.  Or the wonderful group of people I had the pleasure of spending an amazing two weeks with. Thank you for all the fun and friendship.  

  • 10

    Wet and wonderful

    You can't have all that green without rain. But once you let yourself go and make peace with being entirely wet and muddy for days, there is a wonderful sense of freedom. You won't be cold (except for the summit day) and you will always have a clean warm room to regroup at the end of the day. I can't imagine a better way to see the variety of eco/cultural/historical systems than cycling through Sri Lanka. Suresh and his support team create an indulgent expereince where all details are taken care of and all you have to do is eat, ride, and enjoy the culture and views.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the complexity of the water systems, seen from ancient times to present, throughout the country. The itinerary was fantastic. I was out of shape, exhausted from work and 24 hours of flying, and the warm-up day, the mixing up of riding and walking was perfect. The evening walk at Ella provided a stunning view.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh is a true professional; both as guide and as a Buddhist giving his all to whomever he can. He watches carefully, and anticipates his clients' needs. You only need to ask Suresh once, and he will remember and take care of your request. He is warm and playful; knowledgeable and adaptable. He pulls out the nuances of his culture providing greater depth than other providers. He provided us with local food tasting opportunities and off the beaten path temple visits. And when I knew I wouldn't be able to complete the big hill day and was thinking of taking the train, he encouraged me to give the ride a try. And after 4 1/2 hours of climbing in the cold rain I decided I'd had enough; he smoothly took care of my transition to the support bus for the rest of the way ( and 5 others joined me at the next stop.).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As others have mentioned, prepare for rain. I had brought a cheap poncho for afternoon thunderstorms, but wore it all day throughout the first week. Bad for drag, but good for ventilation. The good thing about the rain is that other than the higher elevation days, it kept the temps cooler without being cold. That being said, pack a fleece and hat for the bus in case you bail on the climb day. Cycling sandals are also a good choice so that your feet can breathe.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I added a trip to the Maldives (on my own, not through Exodus). It's only an hour away and a nice way to have a couple of slow (sunny) days after the non stop activity of the cycling trip.

  • 8

    Floods but no famine

    A great cycling trip through the beautiful scenery of some less touristed areas of Sri Lanka. We started the trip with a whole week of very wet weather which did impact on the enjoyment of visiting some of the main cultural sites on the itinerary in that first week - and cycling very wet roads on bikes with no mudguards also challenged my love of being on two wheels! However in adversity the group bonded fast and our leader Suresh worked overtime to make sure we could make the best of the hand the weather gods had dealt us. When the rain finally stopped we were treated to some fantastic riding, scenic views and of course the warm smiles of the local population. A shame we didn't have the good weather from the outset but all told I was still happier to be visiting Sri Lanka on a bike than on a bus. And by riding it meant I'd worked up a good appetite for the amazing buffets...!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The advice given to me when early in the trip I highlighted that, during the monsoon rain, a leak in the roof of my accommodation was gently dripping onto my bed - "Move the bed sir". Simple, effective and a good reminder to put the little things in life into perspective!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh did a fantastic job. Organising everything ahead of time so that the trip ran like clockwork. Obstacles (like landslides and fallen trees) were avoided and the kettle was already at a rolling boil by the time we got to the local tea-stops along the way. The Ace up his sleeve however was to organise booze for us on Christmas Day which is an alcohol free day in Sri Lanka - Suresh knows how to keep his guests happy!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I enjoy my travel photography but my camera only made it out of the watertight safety of the support bus on a few occasions due not just to the rain but also to the hassle of carrying it whilst on the bike. If you are in to photography I would suggest you bring a watertight bar bag with you to fit onto the rental bike so you can keep your gear to hand without the need for a rucksack (too hot in the sun and too wet if you cycle through monsoon conditions). I may also be tempted to invest in a cheap waterproof camera so that I can continue clicking even when dripping!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fantastic trip that I would recommend to anyone comfortable on a bike.

  • 10

    Back-roads of Sri Lanka September 2015

    Holiday of a life-time

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing flocks of large fruit bats flying across the moon-lit sky over Kandy Seeing huge black rat snake in bamboo-grove at Kandy botanical gardens Seeing bear-faced monkeys leaping through Palm trees Seeing buddhas in Dambulla stone temple and at Polunnaruwa Delicious Sri Lankan food three times a day Very friendly smiling Sri-lankan people

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh* was a cycle-tour guide Who took British guests for a ride. He was everyone's friend; We got there in the end And best of all, nobody died! He gave us all good advice Bought elephants at the right price; Each restaurant and bar Was the best one so far For Lion-lager, curry and rice! He asked for two minutes of time He gave soda-water and lime; And "max damage" at meals; Now everyone feels He's the Exodus leader sublime! *Suresh Bandara won the Exodus Leader of the Year award recently and having just had him as our leader it is easy to see why.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You dont need to take your own snacks as masses of food and snacks are provided Walking round Kandy city centre is a bit of a waste of time. Better way to spend the Kandy day is in the botanical gardens. train ride from Kandy to Nuriwa Eliya is good alternative to very hard uphill, but train is very crowded on Saturdays - so if you know you are going to go on train try to book first class observation carriage in advance otherwise you will probably be standing for 4 hours in second class Try to fit in a surfing lesson/session near Kobbala beach - looks fun

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Sri Lanka is an interesting exotic destination and the back roads are good for cycling my only reservation about the trip was that (probably unavoidably) some of the cycling is on very busy poor-condition roads in urban and peri-urban areas were you have to be adept at self-preservation

  • 10

    CYCLE THE BACKROADS OF SRI LANKA

    Sri Lanka is a stunning country and cycling along the backroads is a great way to see it and experience all there is to offer. Every day is different with a constantly changing landscape to keep you interested as you pedal along. It's wonderful to get away from the busy roads and towns and onto the quiet backroads where children rush out of their homes to wave and call "Hi, Bye!" as you pass by. The people we met along the way were amongst the friendliest I've met anywhere. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    With each day bringing along new places to see and new experiences it's very difficult to choose any one most inspirational moment, but here are a few occasions which I really enjoyed:-   Climbing the rock fortress at Sigiriya...when you first arrive and look up, you begin to wonder why would I climb up there when I've still several kms of cycling to go? But it really is worth the climb and is not at all as daunting as it might seem. The view from the top is spectacular. The cave temples in Dambulla are amazing, it's really worth starting at the furtherest away cave and working back as cave 2 is really superb. The monkeys will also keep you entertained! Kandy is really interesting. Making it up the long tough hill climb to Nurawa Eliya! A really tough day's cycling! But worth it when you make it! Festival in Kataragama Temple (we were lucky to time our visit with the festival).  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh is a fantastic guide. He couldn't have done any more to make our visit to Sri Lanka any better. Every need was catered for and he went out of his way to ensure that everyone was having a good time. We were very fortunate to have a fantastic group who really gelled together well and Suresh was always on hand to answer questions and fill us in on interesting facts and stories...though he could do with a few new elephant jokes!  We also had a great support team, Dasun who rode along with us, Upali, the bus driver and Chamara who had the difficult job of following along behind the group. Together they make a great team! 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you're thinking of this trip to Sri Lanka, go ahead and book it. Do get some cycling practice in as cycling in the heat can be quite demanding and some of the days are quite challenging. But as with other Exodus cycling trips I've been on you can do as much or as little cycling as you choose.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One of the best trips I've been on!

  • 8

    Fantastic activity holiday!

    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

    Sri Lanka Experience by bike

    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

    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.

  • 10

    CYCLE THE BACKROADS OF SRI LANKA

    A truly amazing holiday, book yourself a place now! This was my first group trip, and I couldn't recommend the experience highly enough. Sri Lanka is a stunning country, with a very friendly people. The itinerary was well balanced, with a bit of something for all tastes. Beautiful landscapes, history and culture, tasty food, wildlife as well as seeing the daily life of the Sri Lankans and much more besides. All this with some exhilarating riding, great challenges and even better company.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It might not be an original choice, but cycling all the way to the top on the hardest day. I'm not an experienced cyclist at all, and before the holiday started I thought I'd be on the train for sure. Then I thought I would have a go, but expected to have to bus it at least a bit. Getting to the top unassisted was a very proud moment for me, and I'd advise anyone going on this trip to give it a go, the scenery is breath-taking, the sense of achievement is great and on the way up our final tea stop gave us the best cuppa I've had in my life!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh was an amazing leader. This was my first group holiday, and when I go on another the leader will have a lot to live up to after Suresh and the gang. He worked flat out to make it an amazing holiday for everyone. He also went above and beyond the call of duty to help me out when I lost some stuff. The tour was well planned and went of without a hitch! He was also clearly very knowledgeable about his country, being somewhat interested in history and culture I asked him a lot of questions, he didn’t even hesitate once in answering. As well as being an efficient and effective tour leader he's just a really nice guy, and genuinely interested in getting to know the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take both a gel seat for your bike and padded shorts. Some of Sri Lanka's roads are a bit bumpy, and you will be happy with your investment! Take some high factor sun cream and make sure you use it frequently, it’s a powerful sun in Sri Lanka, and you can forget it when cycling ( especially when going downhill) It can be a bit tough at times, if you have a bit of a gap between booking and your trip I’d suggest you do a bit of training. That said it’s not a race, but the fitter you are the less time you will spend on the bus, and the more time you’ll be enjoying Sri Lanka by bike. We had brought some snacks with us, but I wouldn't bother as we were so well provided for, and I had most of them left at the end of the trip. We got fed at a lot of the tea stops, and you will not go hungry at main meals either. Make sure you do maximum damage at buffets as the curry is delicious. If you go to visit the temple of the Tooth on your free day in Kandy, remember to wear trousers ( or at least long shorts past the knee), it completely slipped our mind ( though we had been made aware of it to be fair) and we ended up in some rather lovely flowery sarongs. Sri Lankan airlines is fairly basic when it comes to the inflight entertainment, so take a book or mp3 with you for that. The hardest part of the hard day was before lunch, so push through!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great trip, you will make memories that will last you a life time. I look forward to seeing Sri Lanka again sometime, hopefully the north and east.

  • 10

    Great cycling in the great country

    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

    backroads of sri lanka

    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

    CYCLE THE BACKROADS OF SRI LANKA

    If you're wondering whether you should go on this holiday I would say (if you have a good level of fitness) stop thinking about it and book it - it will be one of the best (if not THE best) holiday you have ever been on! With Suresh and his team looking after you, you can experience this beautiful country the best way possible - on a bike (or in the van if you fancy)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I found the people of Sri Lanka the most inspiring part of this holiday. From the small children who are clearly so excited to see you riding through their village, to the people encouraging you along the way, to the kindness and friendliness of all the people we met where we stayed I would say the Sri Lankans really made this holiday for me. By far the friendliest people of all the countries I've been too. Considering such a violent recent history I found it a very humbling experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh and his team were - quite simpy - fantastic. None of the group had to think for the whole time we were there. You woke up, ate, went outside and your bike was all ready and waiting for you. Food and water were just around the corner. Between them they made sure we were all cared for during the cycling from the moment we left to our arrival at the next hotel. At every junction someone would be there directing you and stopping the traffic if necessary. They also arranged regular breaks - often ready waiting with drinks, biscuits and fruit. If you're worried about the logistics of a cycling holiday - don't be - they couldn't make it easier. I've been on a few group holidays now and Suresh is definitely the best leader of all those holidays. His love for his country is very clear and that was fantastic to see as we went to different places. He was also very good at making sure people were aware of what the cycle was going to be like - i.e. the state of the roads (generally very good), sections that would be difficult, the heat of the day - and most importantly what the hotel pool would be like at the end! His patience as 16 people each asked the same question time and time again was admirable...

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you're wondering whether you can do the cycling my advice would be - if you're of a good fitness level and you can take the heat then you will be fine. I haven't cycled much since I was a teenager so more than fifteen years ago and I managed to complete all the cycling on this holiday - even up to Nuwara Eliya. I go to the gym about 3 times a week so I am quite fit despite the lack of cycling experience. But it's definitely not a holiday where you can just wing it. The heat gets to you (often 35C), the distances are long, and the country is hilly. Different people find different things difficult but I would say the hardest part for me was (some of) the roads which were quite rough in places (but on the whole were excellent). And the van is always there to pick you up if you need a break.   On a practical level I would say - take more cycling gear than you think necessary and lots of handwash. Invest in a good gel seat and shorts with very good padding. You do get sore but as long as you have the gear you'll be fine. I didn't have as much as I could've taken but it was fine but if I was to do this holiday again I would make sure I had more changes of clothing for cycling as the heat means you sweat a lot. I would also make sure that what you take is 'very active' wear. Take factor 50 and don't do what I did and buy cycling gloves with holes on the back of the hand - that part of your body will burn (badly)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, with lovely people, amazing wildlife and a really interesting history. I found the whole holiday really inspirational, from visiting parts of the island destroyed by the tsunami to realising that I was capable of cycling to an altitude of 2k. Yes the cycling was hard in places but getting up every morning knowing that you would be cycling through beautiful countryside made it worthwhile. I have no other cycling holiday to compare it to but for me it was an incredible holiday.

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