Turais SpA is a joint venture undertaken by Helge Pedersen, founder of the Norwegian Tour Operator Oliven Reiser AS and Hector Pizarro, a former employee at Oliven Reiser. In Norway, Helge is esteemed as a longstanding cycling guru and innovative entrepreneur. Founded in 2001, his company has developed into an operation with 64 cycling routes in 25 countries, in 4 continents, with thousands of loyal customers. His company’s motto is “a tour for the heart and the senses” – where the core belief is described on their website: “Travelling with us is to return home with (the heart filled of) unforgettable memories and the senses full of new impressions. Of having experienced something unique and outstanding on a personal level. Maybe we make the world a little smaller, and the understanding of it a little bigger“. That sets the bar high, but its success is proven, as a huge percentage of Oliven Reiser’s travellers are repeating customers. To Cycly, such is the model and inspiration, with Helge providing the vision, guidance and quality assurance, and Hector the execution.
Hector is an avid cyclist with long experience as cycling tour leader in Latin America. He crafts cycling experiences in Chile traveling across the country on his motorcycle. He explores potential routes and measures distances and elevation, while assessing terrain and road safety. Indeed, a cycling route does not only consist of such metrics -and not even of the landscape and scenic beauty alone- but also of the true cultural immersion that occurs when you ride a bicycle in the country you are visiting. “When I’m heading to a new region, trying to find authentic and engaging experiences, I talk a lot to the locals“, he says. “Their knowledge is invaluable and I have many questions they are happy to answer, particularly about their community and places of interest around and about. That way, I find places and people that will not appear in guidebooks“.
Consider this: Chile stretches for more than half the entire length of South America. If you place the map of Chile over the map of Europe, it would reach from Lisbon to Moscow; actually 420 km past Moscow, as you can see in these two screenshots of the distances measured in straight lines:
Being this a north-south, rather than west-east, orientation, it results in a country that extends across 38 degrees in latitude, making generalizations impossible. In other words, Chile enjoys several climates at the same time, with sunny deserts and the clearest skies on Earth in the north, a Mediterranean feel in Central Chile, humid subtropical in Easter Island and subpolar oceanic in the south. Flanked by the Pacific to the west and the Andes to the east, the country has a huge diversity of dramatic landscapes.
One thing is certain: in these 4,317 km there are hundreds, if not thousands, of good cycling slopes. Cycling is the red thread for a fantastic active holiday in Chile.
“I have the best job in the world“, says Hector, as he gets ready for the road again. You can contact him directly at [email protected]