The 2016 Grand Prize Trip Winner has Taken his Trip; Here's what he says about it...
Joel Carter took the Cycling Vietnam trip sponsored by Exodus Travels in January, 2017 with his father, Stephen Carter, where they travelled from Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City in the South to Hanoi in the North. “We cycled a total of 500 kilometers!” says Joel. “We went to the Mountain Town of Da Lat, the 16th century trading port of Hoi An, and many places in between.”
Photo: Joel and his father, Stephen Carter, standing in front of the Japanese bridge (16th century) in Hoi An
This was Joel’s first cycling adventure trip and he discovered that he thoroughly enjoyed traveling and experiencing the culture by bike. “We learned to take our time and we explored places you would normally drive by and wouldn’t get to explore if you were traveling by vehicle.”
Photo: Hue Royal Palace
“Being on a bike versus a vehicle offered a unique perspective. Much of the trip was on side roads, avoiding the main highways where very few tourists visit. People were very friendly, and the children loved running out to practice their English, yelling ‘hello!’ Normally the tour leader would lead the way but sometimes would drop back, sending the support truck ahead to wait at junctions so we wouldn't get lost. If you were near the front you could see these communities and how they lived without feeling like you were intruding like you would on a bus or in a car.”
One of the highlights of his trip was cycling down the 20 kilometer decent from the hill top town of Da Lat.
“The weather was not cooperating and it was raining quite hard,” says Joel about the decent. “The entire ride was beautiful with waterfalls crashing onto the road the whole way down; it was fun to experience the temperature change from cold at the top, to warm at the bottom. I stuck with the group for a bit, then took the lead and left the group. The speed at which I was going, and given the weather conditions, put this on the dangerous side of things—but it was worth it and I will remember it forever!”
Joel highly recommends that people try traveling by bike with Exodus Travels. “Having someone local that knows the points of interest stay with you the entire time to look after you was something special! Many of the other travelers in the group had been on multiple adventure travel trips and each one of them thought very highly of Exodus Travels. Exodus Travels definitely exceeded my expectations!”
Photo: Beach in Hoi An
Photo: Fishing boats in Phan Thiet
For the past four years, Exodus Travels has been the grand prize trip sponsor of Bike to Work Week in BC. They have sponsored trips to Europe and Cuba and in 2017 they are sponsoring a trip ‘Cycling the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia.’ “We sponsor this event because we believe that it is extraordinary because it inspires communities across the province to leave the car at home and join colleagues, friends and families and bike to work,” says Robin Brooks, Marketing Manager, Exodus Travels.
“Cycling brings out the child in many of us and a sense of wonder—as does travel. Nothing compares to the freedom of two wheels. A bike lets you travel at your own pace, has minimal environmental impact and best of all presents you with a rewarding adrenaline adventure that once finished provides an unparalleled sense of achievement,” says Robin.
At Exodus, social responsibility is a key priority. “We believe that our type of small scale, positive impact tourism can bring benefits to many communities, help preserve the environments we travel to see, and provide real and positive social exchanges,” says Robin.
It just feels good to travel with a company with these values!
Exodus sends “congratulations” to all 2017 Bike to Work Week participants!” Exodus will be offering all registered 2017 Bike to Work Week participants $150 off its cycling tours. Registered participants who log a trip during Bike to Work Week will receive a promo code. Register free at www.biketowork.ca.
Photo: The group’s bikes
Exodus recently launched a series of self-guided cycling tours where Exodus takes care of the accommodations, cycle routes and luggage, giving you the freedom to explore at your own pace and level of ability so you can just sit back and enjoy the ride. Learn more at ExodusTravels.com