Watching the seals swimming in the vortex (not sure if that is the right term) when sailing back from Hoy. However, the whole trip was magical - it was just what I needed, a relaxing, enjoyable and interesting break in a beautiful part of the country I have never been to. The weather was great (mostly), and the light made the landscapes very evocative.
How was your Explore Tour Leader?
Malcolm was great. Knowledgeable, passionate and enthusiastic about the islands. He knew how to pace the group and meet everyones needs. He dealt with all the issues caused by the poor organisation at Explores end with patience, and took everything in his stride.
What tips would you give to someone else booking this tour?
If you want to get away from it all, and have a relaxing break in a beautiful and quiet part of the world - then this is the trip for you. However, check the travel arrangements carefully as explore did not give me the correct information about the end time which meant I had to change my flights, costing me money. It is worth booking Friday night in Kirkwall as the trip doesn't end till 8pm, and unless you want to take the ferry to Aberdeen there is no other route home then. It is not cheap or easy getting to Orkney, and you are left on your own sorting this out. Also, check where you are booked in Kirkwall as one member of our group was booked into a hostel and had to sure with strangers.
Do you have anything else to add?
The trip itself was brilliant, but the pre and post organisation leaves a lot to be desired. Having booked lots of holidays through Exodus previously - the quality provided by explore was much worse. It was stressful and expensive having to rearrange my travel arrangements during the trip, and having to sleep on the floor of the Kirkwall-Aberdeen ferry is not my preferred form of travel.