Nepal-2009-173

Festival in the Kathmandu Valley

Testimonials

Pokhara to Kathmandu

Thanks for introducing me to Ride away tours which allowed me to have an absolutely awesome time in Nepal with seven cycling mates. The tour exceeded my expectations in every possible way and I will definitely be back to experience another mountain bike trip to another country - as I have already mentioned to you. Your attention to detail from beginning to end made it very easy for an "inexperienced traveler" like myself.

Sonam was an excellent guide who was always on hand to share in his incredible knowledge of the country. His experience with fixing bikes was very useful with a number of technical issues experienced. His pleasant nature and jovial personality bought some good laughs to the group. The riding was tough but very rewarding with the spectacular views we experienced. Riding in remote areas not often seen by tourists was a very special experience and made all the climbing worthwhile.

Thanks again to you Steve and Ride Away Tours, I mean it sincerely when I say you have ignited a desire in me to travel more now that I know what is out there and the fact that I can do it on my bike!

~ Dave Bure, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

What a way to see South Africa - Highly recommend Ride Away Mountain Bike Tours!!
September 2012

~ Lesley Hanger, KwaZulu natal, South Africa

Explore the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia - 9 days

The trip was fantastic. In fact many felt this was certainly 'one of the best' if not the best we've done. And it's our 10th year. That was the groups consensus, from my perspective I would like to say, I absolutely loved the trip. The boat was wonderful, and far exceeded my expectations. The crew where professional, helpful and friendly The food was exceptional. The only complaint being there was too much. I don't eat fish, and the effort the chef made to keep me happy was extraordinary. I felt very well looked after.

I loved the concept of riding in one direction. That is, with the boat moving to pick us up. Also being given the 'options' of how far each person wanted to ride. And to unpack once was also a huge bonus.

Sheppie and Ozzy were fantastic. They looked after us incredibly well. If I have to offer one criticism, it's that they need to get fitter. If you guide, you have to be able to keep up. But they added so much value to the riding, it was fantastic having them as guides. I have already recommended the trip to others. I have no reservations doing so. It's a trip I would highly recommend for sure. Thanks for organising Steve, it was truly an experience of a lifetime. We loved it, the boat, the riding, the crew, the food, the guides and the options.

~ Joanne Shlain MacLeod, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

Thanks again for a wonderful New Year's week in your beautiful part of the world. We loved every moment and can't wait to come back! Have been selecting some pictures for Facebook and they all say so much about what Wartrail cycling is all about - the wide open spaces, the complete isolation, the breathtaking vistas, etc etc.

~ Lynne Mackie, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

It’s probably the most beautiful part of the berg and most South Africans never get to see it.

~ Nic Davies, South Africa

Explore the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia - 9 days

Thanks to all for the most amazing, memorable week! Especially to you Jo for including us in this wonderful group of very together ladies. Good food, good wine, STAX of hills and LOADS of laughs...couldn't ask for more.

~ Penny Stevens, South Africa

MTB Remote Northern Vietnam

Thanks for a great trip. Everything was flawless (besides my plane arriving two hours late in Hanoi). As you had stated earlier, Thai is an awesome guide, very knowledgeable, very accommodating, and put up well with all our nonsense !

~ Patrick Leary, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

Thank you for an unforgettable holiday & sharing a piece of heaven with us, for your infinite patience, listening to my moans & always assisting with my bike troubles….also for the mud-throwing, icy swims & the very entertaining final evening, I loved it all ( especially the rocky downhills) and your jokes & comical repertoire were 1st class !

~ Ashleigh Mackinnon, South Africa

We had 3 of the most amazing days between Clarens and Montusi, via Golden Gate and Witzieshoek, including a barge trip across Sterkfontein Dam and a suicidal drop off the escarpment on a narrow concrete strip. This is a part of the country few will ever see, never mind from a Mountain Bike. awesome! Well done Steve...
Cavi Crawl

~ Greg Anderson, Johannesburg, South Africa

A journey through the Dalmation Islands - 15 days

Just a quick e-mail to say thank you to all of you for a fabulous holiday! I had a great time and I’m missing the warm weather and doing nothing. Steve, our intrepid explorer, thanks for a well organised amazing trip. I’ll be on the next one for sure! 

~ Sharon Malherbe., Johannesburg, South Africa

A journey through the Dalmation Islands - 15 days

Back at my desk…  freezing anything that is exposed off!!! AND having terrible withdrawal symptoms!!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF EVERYDAY! Croatia more than exceeded my expectations and also held some wonderful surprises! Thanks for the beautiful photos that were waiting in my inbox for me! Made me feel bit better about being back!!

~ Val Weldon., South Africa

Nepal mountain bike tour mtb Kathmandu Valley

Just got back from India and our trip in Nepal. I wanted to thank you for organizing everything for us. It was absolutely fabulous and our hosts were exceptional. The organization was superb and they were totally accommodating and adaptable to suite our needs. I was very impressed with their patience, organization and efficiency. I will definitely recommend Ride Away again.

I guess my only slightly negative feedback was that I would have prefered to have been more in the actual mountains. I loved the national park and the accommodation in the mountains.

Thanks for your effort and for making it such a smooth, enjoyable tour.

~ Georgie Carter, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

Highly recommend the Wartrail's ride!!! Unbelievable scenery and landscape!! Thanks Steve-o for the most amazing 5 days of riding and laughing! It was fantastic!

~ Andrea Long van Greunen, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

A journey through the Dalmation Islands - 15 days

The trip was great, thanks. I thoroughly enjoyed the first few days of riding around the valley, through the forests, hills & rice paddies.

The side trip to Lake Tilicho is a must; perhaps less so if you’re trekking Annapurna, but if you’re biking like us then Tilicho adds a nice dimension to the trip & is worthwhile considering it only adds an extra 2 days.

For me, Tharong La was a cinch, but I was taking it slowly & keeping one of the slower guys company. The downhill on the other side was intense; too technical for me to really enjoy, but it got better as it flattened out and became actually ridable.

My only real quibble is that the guides on the route are unprepared mechanically. Sure, they carry tubes, spokes, etc; but they are not prepared for anything more than your average type of problem.
(Ride Away will take this up with the local company we used in Kathmandu, good point!)

All in all, a great trip; one of my best so day. Will send some pics when I have a chance.
Next trip … if you know of anything over Christmas & New Year then you can just sign me up.

Nepal,

~ Donald Garlick, Cape Town, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

"Stevie Wonder" many thanks for putting together a superb 5 days of riding! The scenery was mind blowing and great to share with a bunch of funny and goofy friends!! Highly recommended!!!

~ Frances Marsburg, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Vibrant Northern Vietnam

Well done from all our gang for the tour to North Vietnam you organized. Everything was excellent and our guide was brilliant – we are all trying to find a way to bring him to South Africa. He was really amazing in character and service with his anticipation of our needs and his/our favorite reply: “anything is possible”. The country was stunning and the people wonderful. We all thoroughly enjoyed the tour and I feel it is on one of the best countries and tours I have ever been to.

While in Bac Ha, we had probably our best days riding down into the valley for 25 km on excellent single track. At the bottom we had an awesome lunch but some of us normal people were not looking forward to the 25 km back up the hill. We asked Thai if we could hire mopeds and with in 6 or so minutes we had 5 moped arranged at a reasonable price which we rode back up the mountain – making a really fun day and I would recommend this as a standard option. And that’s about the only suggestion I can come up with. The rest was pretty much faultless.

Again from our gang – well done.

~ Nic Jordan, South Africa

As a “newby” this was an amazing experience with a great bunch of guys.

Greg and Steve thanks for your patience over the 3 days, it was really appreciated.
Cavi Crawl
Clarens-Qwaqwa-Witzieshoek-Sterkfontein Dam-Montusi

~ Patch Furniss, Momentum, South Africa

A journey through the Dalmation Islands - 15 days

The tour was fantastic, well done on putting together a really first class trip. Will definitely be available for the next one. Pity you did not have a chance to ride in Brac, what a mountain bikers paradise.(awesome scenery) June 2012

~ Juan Muller, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

Thank you Steve, it was awesome. Hard riding, but breathtaking.

~ Deirdre Boast, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

A journey through the Dalmation Islands - 15 days

A big thank you for all your hard work in arranging an absolutely ‘out of this world’ trip..I can honestly say it’s been one of my best holidays ever. As far as I know everybody had an amazing time with very few if any complaints..none from my side, as for the getting lost, sorry, temporarily unsure of our positions, well that’s what exploring is all about and I enjoyed every kilometer. Rest of the tour was great, no hiccups. As you’re probably aware I tackled that monumental mountainous climb out of Bol, the scenery made you forget about the pain and heat. Definitely looking forward to the next trip, one destination that came up was Morocco

~ Claudio Pizzo, Johannesburg, South Africa

A journey through the Dalmation Islands - 15 days

It was great to have met all of you and thanks to all for making this trip a truelly amazing experince for me and well done to all who put it together,you guys did a great job.If you guys are ever in town feel free to give us a call,go for a ride or catch a cold beer. 

~ Martin Cayzer, Cape Town, South Africa

Explore the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia - 9 days

This was my first trip and it certainly lived up to everything I had hoped and more!

~ Gwynn Stevens, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

Steve, you did a magnificent job in improvising for us which was much appreciated, and certainly added to the enjoyment of the trip. The riding was awesome.

Margi and Graham you guys really went the extra mile for us. Thank you so much for also sharing your farm with us. We will definitely back. I really think you guys are onto something very special and I really hope it takes off.

~ Alastair Mackie, South Africa

Vibrant Northern Vietnam

Back a week and already in the normal hectic rat race. Great to be home but sad to have left one of the most spectacular places in the world - a hidden gem. Spectacular in terms of the scenery, the cultures, the food, the history and above all the people - kind, hospitable, humble, friendly and hard-working. And incredibly reasonable cost wise - food, hotels, transport etc. Steve put together an incredible trip - a blend of cycling in the country, kayaking in Halong Bay from a 5 star live aboard, and visiting most of the major attractions in the two major cities Hanoi and Saigon
Got to get back there again!!!!!

~ Terry Dearling, South Africa

Vibrant Northern Vietnam

Exploring Vietnam by bicycle assaults your senses in every way: the unusual smells, exotic tastes, inspiring scenery and warm friendly people make it an amazing journey that enables you to interact first hand and absorb the culture of this intriguing destination.

Our trip was diversified in every sense:

Cycling the highlands of Northern Vietnam enabled us to meet and interact with the ethnic hill tribe people and enjoy some steep climbs as we rode through the mountainous terrain of rice paddies and tea plantations (undoubtedly one of my highlights because we went so far off the beaten track, and it was an incredibly ‘real’ experience).

Central Vietnam yielded historically important tombs and citadels which gave you a wonderful insight into the Vietnamese culture and past (oh yes, and did I mention the food...?). The ride from Hue to Hoi An was legendry, we rode through the very eerie but intriguing ‘Valley of Ghosts’ - kilometers of tombs and graveyards, past mushroom farms and up (and up) ‘cloud pass’ as we headed for the beaches of Hoi An. Our long ride was rewarded with an old trading town steeped in history, with a magical feeling, as the streets and trees are filled with lanterns and a there’s a silk tailor on every doorstep.

The rivers of the Mekong Delta gave us the chance to ‘put our feet up’ and drift along the bussling waterways and through floating markets, but when we got back on our bikes the fun really began as we cycled through the rich fertile lands of the delta on tiny back roads (1m wide at biggest, and a bridge every few meters!) Always an adventure to be had, I narrowly missed a collision with something when an old man threw a coconut at a chicken, the coconut narrowly missed me, then the shocked chicken narrowly missed me, then the oncoming motorbike carrying 3 pigs swerved when he saw the ensuing chaos and narrowly missed me too! Unbelievable, and definitely worth a beer.

After plenty of good laughs, lots of ‘bottoms up’ with the rice wine and a boiled chickens claw thrown in for good measure we rounded of a perfect trip with an idyllic few days on the breathtaking beaches of Phu Quock, where we had massages every evening at sunset (3$!!!!), plenty of cocktails and the best seafood barbeques I think I’ve every tasted.

Thank you Steve for organizing the trip of a lifetime.

~ Heather & Anton Mostert, South Africa

Explore the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia - 9 days

I loved the trip and learnt many new mountain biking skills(much needed). What a great group we had, all such fun and lovely new friends were made. Jo, you are a star always, thank you. Sheppy and Oz were super helpful and easy going and made such an effort to accommodate us all and to give us inside look at local Croatia night life and all.

The gulet was fabulous, attentive crew and great food. I would definitely recommend this trip as it was one of the best.

~ Imelda Fincham, South Africa, May 2013

Explore the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia - 9 days

Thank you for including me in the best trip ever. I totally agree with Jo that it was awesome. Thanks Steve for adding all the finer details and the rest of the group for all the fun and laughter. Truly a fantastic "TOUR"! Steve, the "options" made the trip more ridable for us. I would definitely recommend this trip to other groups. Thanks to all for sharing this great holiday. Hope to see you all soon.

~ Alouette Pretorius , Mauritius

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

What an awesome MTB tour in Wartrail with a fantastic group of mates - great trails, magnificent scenery and true farmer hospitality! Thank you Steve for so capably showing us this beautiful part of our wonderful country - hope to join you on another tour sometime. Highly recommended experience - I am still smiling! - we all had such fun! So many laughs my stomach muscles ached for days! Lots of special memories. You did a great job - thanks.

~ Michelle Blankenberg, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Vibrant Northern Vietnam

Am playing catch up so when I get a minute will send pics and stuff, but have to mention our wonderful guide you have, what an asset to your business! Drank lots of snake wine for him!

I know it’s for cyclists, but… without sustenance would never have got up all the hills… Pho (noodle soup) with chillies you had every morning …those magical lunches on the side of the road with the rugby ball baguettes – us girls would never dream of eating at home! – filled with cheese (not sure what it was but so so good) and all sorts of goodies, the super sweet persimmon after a long uphill – the lunch in the villagers home – crispy chips with hint of garlic, corn deep fried, ahhhh spring rolls fried … fresh…. Filled with awesome flavours and the list goes on… rice cakes and number 1 cold drink on the side of the road in hammocks…

think Richard has photographic evidence of us eating our way through Vietnam. AND THE COFFEE…. And all the juicy exotic looking fruit that almost made up for the lack of chocolate and milkshakes… lucky Stephen found a supply of Milo drinks….

And what about that FISH ON THE RACK…

~ Val Weldon, South Africa

Vibrant Northern Vietnam

To summarise: It was m**rse nice. We enjoyed every minute of it, especially the variety and the quality of the accommodation and food.

Your guide was exceptional. He is a natural relationship builder and is a very likeable guy. His knowledge of Vietnam is very good and his command of the English language as well (Probably because he has been an English teacher). He is REALLY somebody special.

I would recommend that you jack-up the quality of the bikes in the north to support your efforts to give us an unforgettable experience. Standardise all the bikes’ levers and switches to the same format.

All in all, a great experience and I would recommend it to anybody.

~ Henk Theron, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

I think your feedback, Mike, says what most of us think – it is an amazing place and Larry and I will be going back for sure!

One addition though is to mention how wonderful all our hosts were! We were made to feel welcome at every turn and that was more than you get on any of these trips.

~ Craig Campbell-Gillies, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

Many thanks to all of you for an awesome week. A special thanks to Spider and Steve for putting it all together. I certainly look forward to seeing the many pics as the scenery we travelled through is truly spectacular.

~ Yann Leclezio, South Africa

Vibrant Northern Vietnam

Agree, reading all the e-mails re the Vietnam memories and experiences made me smile and remember the great time we all had. Some memories are a bit faded as a result of all the rice wine (thanks to the fine master).

To me the first day stands out – what was I doing there cycling up a mountain in the mud!! These crazy mountain bikers!!
I loved the awesome scenery, the beautiful Halong Bay, the delicious food, the friendly people and the camaraderie that was built up in the group. I had many laughs.
On the second last day cycling next to the river through the villages, my thoughts were that this was one of the best trips I’ve ever had.

~ Sharon Malherbe, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

I really enjoyed the 5 days with all the riding. The camping, the great trek!! All good fun. Many thanks for your help and support in putting this together. Look forward to seeing you in Hilton or Howick for a ride.
Wartrail, September 2012

~ Vicky Moore, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Explore the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia - 9 days

~ Catherine Dvorak, Mauritius, May 2013

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

It is an absolute privilege to be able stay on the beautiful Balloch farm, NE Cape, South Africa. In my travels, I have never come across such a beautiful valley with the stunning rock formations, crystal clear streams and the tranquillity that comes with it. On the rides in the Wartrail area there is a crisp freshness to the air that only comes with the higher altitudes. The vast open expanses of rolling hills give you such a sense of freedom, but at the same time placing you in perspective with the big world. Riding through the remote farms you realize how tough the pioneers were in the rugged hills.

The day trip via Tiffendell and Tena Head to Rhodes was such a great challenge but done in such a relaxed manner that when it was finished, I wanted to do it all again the next day. The part of the ride at Dangershoek is so remote and peaceful with a tremendously relaxed atmosphere. Nothing like a great days’ riding and then sitting high on a ridge watching the changing colours and light in the valley below with a beer in hand. Whatever you do, don’t tell Steve that a rocky ridge looks interesting to ride, the next thing you know is a way to ride it is worked out and the challenge is set. This is what mountain biking is about without the stresses of multi day racing.

~ Mike Frost, South Africa

Nepal mountain bike tour mtb Kathmandu Valley

Maedes and Claire were the ultimate hosts. They made a huge effort to accommodate everyone, and the cycling was wonderful! It was challenging in some areas which suited me well. The only recommendation I would make is that there is more communication about the type of technical difficulty we were to expect. Perhaps more info on the weather. All in all it was really a phenomenal experiences with so many highlights. A recommended way to see any country, it gave me a whole new perspective on Nepal and its people.

Thank you very much. Next time I will be going with my children! Lhasa – Kathmandu looks good.

~ Mariota, South Africa

Nepal mountain bike tour mtb Kathmandu Valley

I had the most awesome time in Nepal. To be pefectly honest , it would not have been on my list of must see places but the group was going so I went along and I was so pleasantly surprised. I fell in love with the place and can’t wait to explore further. Your guides were wonderful hosts and did everything to make our trip as enjoyable as possible. I also loved that Ride Away prides itself on taking you off the beaten tourist track.

~ Sue Cardwell, South Africa

Pokhara to Kathmandu

The trip with Ride Away Tours to Nepal in October 2009 was a trip in a lifetime and made very special by the organisation and the people who managed the entire trip. It was run very professionally and was great value for money. What was enjoyable was the interaction with our local guide Sonam, his approachability and friendly nature was most welcome.

I would sincerely recommend anyone contacting Ride Away Tours to put together a trip for them.

~ Andrew Taylor, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

I was blown away by fact that we were not looking at mountains but riding in them.
...no cell phones or any other “worldly intrusions”- a real holiday.

~ Alan Martin, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

Thanks for a great trip, an amazing week.I loved finding a beautiful part of SA that I had not discovered before - we will be back!! 

~ Laurence Hancock, South Africa

A journey through the Dalmation Islands - 15 days

It was an awesome trip.Congrats on putting together an amazing trip - your research was incredible, and your photos outstanding. (Your company wasn't bad either!) Seriously, it was very special having you on the trip. Johannesburg

~ Tony Dearling, South Africa

A journey through the Dalmation Islands - 15 days

Thanks Steve for an unbelievable experience yet again! Its very difficult to explain to someone who hasn't done one of your tours exactly what its like! The majesty of this beautiful country of ours that we get to see from the saddle of a bike. The good times spent with friends, the laughs, the DMCs (deep meaningful conversations) that you have with the person next to you as you gasp up a lung buster of a climb. Your endless patience, Steve my gears are broken, Steve I've got a puncture, Steve carry my top I'm hot now - you are a machine. Your tours are lifetime memory makers!

~ Les Hanger, South Africa

Vibrant Northern Vietnam

Hey everyone!!! Such nice feedback - reading it all really took me right back there.
Some highlights -
Riding straight through the Chinese border with Alistair by mistake and being confronted by a border official with hand on sidearm.
The biggest cycling danger in the road - being the fact that we had to avoid all the rice being dried out on the roads up in the rural mountain areas.
Great hill training for any level rider. Some awesome single track winding down the mountains where the biggest obstacles were ...... water buffalo !!???

~ Stephen Paterson, South Africa

A journey through the Dalmation Islands - 15 days

Thanks so much Steve! I absolutely loved everything about the trip and SO well organised – thank you!
Would love to try War Trail, will see about sorting out a group 

~ Sarah Calitz, Cape Town, South Africa

Nepal mountain bike tour mtb Kathmandu Valley

We had a great time, correction, we had a fantastic time ! All round was an awesome time. Maddse – otherwise known as “The Great Dane”, aka The Viking – was a wonderful guide, helpful, lovely personality and good leader. Prayesh (now I know how to spell his name !!) is also a great guy and of great help and support.

~ Spider Clark, South Africa

Vibrant Northern Vietnam

Anybody who is looking for a fresh experience riding a bike would do well going to Vietnam.

After discussing various options we selected Vietnam mainly because I wanted to ride the Ho Chi Min trail! Any way we didn’t get to ride the trail but had a wonderful 7 days right up in the far north, close to the Chinese border. Our guide Thia was a gem. Always pleasant, most helpful and ever willing to please he guided us out of Hanoi by bus and after a short drive we got the bikes out and set off.

The riding was over a variety of surfaces: gravel paths, quiet tar roads, steep mountain passes and some excellent downhill track. The Vietnamese walk a lot and the others ride small mopeds, even on the gravel trails, so there is ample selection to ride. A typical day for us was about 80km that took from 8am till mid afternoon. This might have included a tar transition in the following bus but with ample time to stop, look and eat.

We travelled a loop via SaPa, very special and a must, past Loa Cai up to Bac Ha and back to Loa Cai for the train back to Hanoi. On the last day we rode some of Hanoi city in the very early morning. This was a great way to see the city and with the volume of moped traffic I wouldn’t do it in rush hour.

The boat trip in Halong Bay was fantastic and must be included.

Our wives spent 4 days shopping and having fun in Hoi An, near Danang and were very happy. Initially they felt that they might be missing out but were more than happy with their clothes buying, cooking etc.

I would really recommend this as a riding holiday. The Vietnamese are very friendly, it’s still cheap and there are great options to keep everybody happy.

Ride Away Tours created a great trip that easily exceeded our expectations and the service was faultless.

~ Jim Arthur, South Africa

Steve, well done on an awesome trip. dont know how you find all these fantastic routes.
Cavi Crawl
Clarens-Qwaqwa-Witzieshoek-Sterkfonten Dam-Montusi

~ Chris Lister James, South Africa

Nepal mountain bike tour mtb Kathmandu Valley

Riding in Nepal was a cultural and physical experience far removed from anything I have encountered in South Africa. The food and people were great, and the riding was fantastic – lots of challenging climbs, secret single-track and breathtaking views. Kathamandu is a cauldron of mad activity which is balanced out by the tranquility and beauty of the surrounding hills. In the distance the Himalayas rise into the horizon and don’t escape the eye-line in any direction, leaving one with a quiet sense of relief that it is not those ascents one is climbing! Nepal is certainly a mountain biking destination that one has to experience in a lifetime.

~ Steve, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

Highly recommend Wartrail's MTB tour, mind blowing beauty, stunning riding, accommodation and guide!! Africa at it's best! Can't wait to ride with Ride Away again!!
September 2012

~ Michele du Toit, KwaZulu natal, South Africa

Vibrant Northern Vietnam

The trip was indeed a trip of a lifetime and I am rating it as one of the best holidays I’ve ever had – thank you. Your Ride Away guide was amazing. He put himself out to make sure that our every need was seen to. His knowledge of the biking routes and his talent to amend the itinerary to suit our abilities was excellent.

~ Rebecca Sands, South Africa

Verbier has it all when it comes to mountain biking, and the Verbier bike trails can proudly hold their own against other world-class mountain bike venues. If downhill mountain biking is your thing then in one ride alone you can descend over 2000 metres (of pure Verbier summer pleasure) on fast single track with endless switchbacks or pick your way through rock gardens and gnarled woodland mountain bike trails, only to catch the lift back up to do it all over again, and again!

~ Visitor, Switzerland

A journey through the Dalmation Islands - 15 days

Thanks again for organising the most incredible trip to Croatia. We were all fairly apprehensive that after our magnificent trip that you did for us to Vietnam, Croatia would not live up to what we had done a year earlier. Well it certainly exceeded our expectations. Your selection of gullets, islands to visit, cycle tour guides and bikes was all first class.

We had a wonderful time and have not stopped talking about the trip !
Thank you again – it was your attention to detail and intense care that turned it into the Extraordinary!

The only problem with your success in putting two great trips together for us, is the pressure I am under to get you to send details on our 2013 trip. Are we still going to Peru?

Fond regards
Terry Dearling, Barlo World, JHB

~ Terry Dearling., Johannesburg, South Africa

I loved the Croatia trip, thank you so much for doing such an amazing job organising it. What a country of surprises. It was a pity you weren’t with us for the last few days, but I see that Jamie Lee had a fantastic competition – I bet you’re glad you chose to be there.

I learn't a lot about how to ride on this trip, the hard tail taught me some valuable lessons and I almost hated the bounce that I have on my soft tail now (back shock cable not working so couldn’t lock it out). I am hoping to improve enough by the time we get to Wartrail again to ride some of the more technical stuff with style and grace 

I have spoken to a couple of friends about your trips and I have at least one very interested party – a guy called Steve Gould who will be contacting you for details of Wartrail soon.

Rebecca Sands, June 2012
Managing Director
MetSkill (Pty) Ltd
Committed to Skills Development in the Process Industry

~ Rebecca Sands., South Africa

Thanks very much for a stunning and much needed break. It will take a lot to beat that kind of riding!
Clarens-Golden Gate-Qwaqwa-Witzieshoek-Sterkfonten Dam-Montusi

~ Lauwrens Cornelissen, Cape Town, South Africa

Thank you Steve…. You’ve got the inside track for next year... you were a great guide and host, and I personally really enjoyed our time together. Good luck with your business.

Cavi Crawl
Golden Gate-Qwaqwa-Witzieshoek-Sterkfonten Dam-Montusi
October 2012

~ Michael ten Hope, Cavi Brands, South Africa

Just a note of thanks for another great week of riding. As noted by the rest of the crew the event was executed with the precision we have now become accustomed to on the Crawl with every obstacle being resolved smoothly and with the minimum of fuss. To Steve and Greg the route was intense and yet offered memorial sights and plenty of time for the social riding interaction which is so key to the CAVI experience.

Cavi Crawl
Golden Gate-Qwaqwa-Witzieshoek-Sterkfontein Dam-Montusi
October 2012

~ Gordon Little, Rand Merchant Bank, South Africa

Many thanks for an amazing and most enjoyable few days on the bike .

The route highlighted the diverse and majestic landscape of the Eastern Free State which was made all the more enjoyable by cycling through it with a good bunch of guys .
As first timer I can't think of any improvements or changes you guys did an excellent job.
Cavi Crawl, October 2012
Clarens-Qwaqwa-Witzieshoek-Sterkfontein Dam-Montusi

~ Colin Barrow, Barrow Construction, Johannesburg, South Africa

Hear, hear a stupendous event. What's doubly impressive was managing to keep the weather appropriately in check! Many thanks Mike, Greg, Mick, Steve & Judy for a truly memorable experience from a cloudless sunny Cape Town.
Cavi Crawl
Clarens-Qwaqwa-Witzieshoek-Sterkfontein Dam-Montusi

~ Paul Boynton, Old Mutual, Cape Town, South Africa

Explore the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia - 9 days

Yes what a wonderful week, I just didn't want it to end!! Everything was just perfect, the boat, bikes, meals and the rides too. It was lovely spending such quality time with my old friends and also fabulous to make new friends....I know why its called the Dalmatian coast, my legs and butt resemble the hounds markings! Great choice and well organised Jo and Steve.

May 2013

~ Avrel Bateman, Breat Britain

Explore the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia - 9 days

Hi Steve,

I’d like to give a little bit of feedback, I’m sure the others will have lots to say too.

My experience of the trip was amazing, I know we were all blown away by everything…. I cant actually say which island was the best as I had a great experience at all of them.
The Boat was amazing, comfortable and spacious. The crew kept the boat immaculate at all times. (we had the best boat on the water!!)
The whole crew were top class! And very professional, hard working and friendly.
The food on the boat was delicious. We thought the chef should make us a recipe book!
All our accommodation was perfect. Dubrovnik was beautiful.
I wouldn’t change anything and I’ll definitely go back and do it the same way – I didn’t want it to end!! Thank you ‘Ride Away’ you guys are brilliant! I’ll definitely recommend you!

We also found some good wines (South African Style) which if you need I’ve got photos of for future reference too.

Thanks again Steve! Kind regards,
Janine Behr, August 2014

~ Janine Behr, South Africa

Explore the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia - 9 days

Hi Steve,
I am still riding high after the best vacation ever!!!!! I loved every minute of this trip. We did travel with an awesome group of people who just made the trip even more special. I could have fun with these folks just about anywhere, but the Gulet is quite the “once in a lifetime” experience.

The boat exceeded my expectations. The cabins were spacious and clean and we were delighted to all have our own bathrooms. The water pressure was strong and we always had hot water. The Captain and crew covered every possible thing we needed. Captain A and his crew could not have provided better service or been more professional. The captain runs a fantastic boat and voyage. They were all so accommodating, kind, helpful and always very respectful of our space. Again, the Captain and crew far exceeded my expectations. And I had high expectations!!!!

I loved all the islands. One beautiful place after another. I personally prefer the quieter islands. I felt that they had more charm and were less touristy. But that’s just me. I am not wild about crowds and do not need the wild night life. My favorite island was the one that had the strong Greek influence. It may have been built by the Greeks. It had beautiful cobble stone streets. I can’t remember what it was called. The older towns held the greatest charm for me. We visited wonderful restaurants on all the islands and I was very impressed with the service across the board. Living in the USA, we have come accustomed to excellent service and I expect it. I was not disappointed with Croatia.

The food on the boat was FANTASTIC!!!! We loved the starters, salads and the entrees. I was so impressed with the chef’s creations. I don’t think we ever left any food on the plates. I didn’t particularly care for the desserts. They were very rich and just different from what I am used to. Probably not a bad thing that the desserts did not appeal to me. I over ate at every meal!!!

I will let the men handle the bikes. But I do know that they had a great time on their rides and had lots of tales of their adventures after every ride.

The accommodation in Dubrovnik and Split was perfect. Absolutely beautiful rooms, clean, excellent service and very charming. The transfer from Dubrovnik to the boat went very smoothly. There were a few hairy moments on the road but the driver seemed to be competent.

I can’t think of anything I would change. It was a fantastic holiday and I would recommend a cruise around the Dalmatian coast whole heartedly. I still can’t believe what a great time it was. I hope to do it again and again and again!!!

We have loads of pictures and will send some to you. Thanks so much!!!

~ Amy Trail, USA

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

This is to thank you for yet another glorious week of cycling. You were incredible the way you adapted to the mood of the Group to suit their ability and so on. It was a great week.

5 March 2015

~ Philip and Linda Zinc, Cape Town, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

Many thanks for the greatest Tour de Krantz!!
15 March 2015

~ Liz McKenzie, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

Thank you for adapting to our abilities. We really enjoyed our trip.
Adrianne

~ Adrianne Andrew, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

Hi Stephen
Adrianne and I would like to thank you for all you did to make our Tour de Kranz in the Eastern Free State such a success. Your attention to every detail of the trip and your limitless patience and support were greatly appreciated – they ensured that we enjoyed each day of our holiday.
Many thanks
Ken and Adrianne
Cape Town 
August 2016

~ Ken & Adrianne Andrew, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

THANK YOU for the really enjoyable TOUR. The stay-overs were really great as well as the routes and the rest-day visits to Sandstone and Charles’ Arms Collection were really great.
A really lovely bunch of individuals with mutual interests and values.
Thank You All. Fond regards.
Philip & Linda
Knysna, Western Cape
August 2016

~ Philip & Linda Zinc, South Africa

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

Steve, hi you are the man who Iike's to cycle where the air is " rarified". You get several special mentions on the article for Country Life which I hope they will accept as it's too long! Many thanks for putting this together so well for the cyclists as well as for camp followers.
Liz, Cape Town
August 2016

~ Liz MacKenzie, South Africa

Explore the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia - 9 days

Thanks Steve Forster for putting such an awesome tour together for us. Did I mention how crazy beautiful this place is?..one of the most beautiful countries in the world. We had a blast. 
Ballito Bay, KZN, South Africa
September 2016

~ Nicolas Jordan, South Africa

Explore the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia - 9 days

Just returned from fantastic holiday in Croatia, what a place!! Arrangements were all great thanks for your input.
September 2016

~ Ted Waldburger, South Africa

PERU : The lost Inca trails and Amazon


The synchronicity of each encounter [from a single flower to a bustling market to perfect weather for each activity] was a magnanimous effort by the universe in support of our trip – which leaves me in awe of being a part of the “whole” of our Peruvian Peddlers tour. How, in our humanness, are we convinced we have total control over all elements of nature and other people.

As always - photo’s are a wonderful means to capture the magic and essence of the journey, and am humbled to have been a part of each meaningful day, filled to the brim with different sensory stimulus and just being at total ease with life. There was not a single moment that I thought of work, or longed for home or wished to be anywhere other than where we found ourselves.

I appreciate and acknowledge you, your depth, your talent, your “Seven-ness” and our time together.
Keep smiling (J)
JHB
September 2013

~ Serele Baker, South Africa

PERU : The lost Inca trails and Amazon

Thank you for an amazing holiday, Steve.
I loved it and will be on the next one for sure.
Take care
The llama poppie

~ Sharon Malherba, South Africa

Mountain biking Georgia, Caucasus Mountains, Tusheti


On the edge.
That's how the week felt. On the edge of the world. Far from civilisation. On the edge of the cliff traveling up one of the worlds most treacherous passes to Tusheti. On the edge of your nerves cycling downhill for 40 crazy kms... On the edge of happiness when there was no water or electricity after a long testing exhilarating ride. Edge of Europe, magnificent architecture and buildings and art in Tbilisi, yet foreign to anywhere you've ever been. Edge of Russia, where stark and hostile mountains tower above you. Chechnyan eyes watching your every move. Edge of glory standing above the worlds highest village and seeing tombstones of young people who have tumbled and lost lives there. Edge of epicurean delight, food and wine in abundance, but no facilities or variety. Edge of sybaritic paradise where water flows abundantly, yet modern facilities are sparse. Edge of the universe, where a full moon hangs in the sky, illuminating the magnificent Caucasus mountains, yet being brought back to earth by folk songs and guitars while men toast to their good lives.

Edge of exhilaration as we sucked up thin air cycling up another mountain, and watched boys bareback on horses gallop past, dust forcing its way deeper into our lungs. Edge of awesome as we admired forts and ancient ruins high above us, and struggled fearfully on horseback to see it all closer. Edge of insanity traveling so far, yet seeing so much, and experiencing so deeply.

The edge of the world, where in the magnificence of the mountains you want to shout "I've been to Georgia" then thunder downhill, rattled and dusty and grateful to be making your way home

~ Joanne Shlain McLeod, South Africa, August 2017

Wartrail mountain bike tours, NE Cape

Hi Steve,

It was a wonderful few days and I can’t thank you enough for putting it all together and adjusting so patiently to our ever-changing arrangements. Really wonderful country and what a privilege to spend active, yet relaxing days there. It was everything you said it would be, plus more.

It would be great to get some details of Croatia, and also Vietnam. No hurry, but it would good to start whetting the adventure appetite when one still has some cycling legs!
I look forward to being in touch.
Kind regards,
Chris James, May 2017

~ Chris James, South Africa

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19 August 2015 : Ride and Sail the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia.

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