Walking in Tuscany - October 2015
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
I avoid the use of the word inspirational. There was no part of the holiday that stood out. It was all excellent, what else is there to say?
What did you think of your group leader?
The guide was extremely physically fit and capable, we went to some places where considerable care was needed but none of us ever had any concerns about our safety. In the case of one person needing some minor medication the guide was able to deal with that as a matter of course. Having the guide’s dogs along was also good fun including the extra one that joined us and accompanied us to the summit one day.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
In detail; this is very much a walking holiday and is not for the faint hearted or unfit. Although my wife plays tennis several times a week and I walk every day we both found ourselves at our limit for a 66 and 64 year old. Consequently this will probably be our last at this level i.e. non-challenging grade 3. What Exodus regard as moderate fitness means being able to walk from say 10 am until 5pm with as many breaks as you need.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The weather was very wet on the first day and so we spent a fascinating morning inside caverns with stalactites and stalagmites the like of which I have never seen before, very good value. The walk on the Tuesday along the valley visiting a number of villages with coffee stops at bars was also engaging. We all chose on our day off to take the railway to Lucca. This was a really good day out and the meal at the restaurant organized that evening by the guide that we all had signed up to was also enjoyable and reasonably priced. We had already gone to a pizzeria the previous day together taken by our Scottish speaking Italian taxi driver. The weather was great from the Wednesday onward and so we did see the stunning views we had hoped for. Ending the days at a bar for a refreshing beer or other also figured on the plus points. All of the people: the guide, family who looked after us at the farm, taxi drivers and fellow walkers were good company. This group was very varied aged from mid-20 year olds to us, some Aussies, a Kiwi and Canadians. They were a very sociable lot; we chatted to each other all over the week. As to the farmhouse location our room was a large ensuite, where we had plenty of space for all our kit. The only drawback was that towels did not dry if you had two showers a day that was function of the cooler weather. The food was plentiful and good wholesome family stuff the wine ration of 1 litre per four people was sufficient. The packed lunches were varied sufficient and tasty. Overall excellent, the few criticisms are extremely minor, I’ve included these as a mark of comprehensiveness. If I was scoring this out of 100 where a practical maximum was 98 i.e. no human effort is ever perfect this would come in at say 96. Exodus is superbly well organised, easily contactable by phone, organization of documents sent and so on is perfect. In short a very energetic holiday with good company in a superb location with a very comfortable base. Thanks to all at Exodus and my fellow walkers.