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Carlos Davila Interview

1) Who is the most inspirational male outside athlete ever?

Thor Heyerdahl.  He may not technically be an "outside athlete", but his feat of piloting a balsa raft from Peru to Tahiti, was a great athletic achievement, and the fact that he did this to test out an archeo-historical theory, inspired me as a somewhat "bookish" teenager to enjoy outdoor adventures.

2) What's your favorite place that you've been to on the planet?

Machu Picchu.  It has it all, stunning geography, historical ruins, and a mystery:  why was such a beautiful site abandoned?

3) What gear innovation would you like to see most?

Backpacks with some type of venting system to keep your back from getting so sweaty and clammy.

4) What are the first five songs you would play on your ideal roadtrip?

Five songs only?  That's a hard one, but if you push me, right now I would pick:  1-Bemba Colora by Celia Cruz; 2-L.A. Woman by The Doors; 3-La Comparsa, the jazz rendition by the great pianist Chucho Valdes; 4-Honky Tonk Women by the Rolling Stones; 5-Tommy by The Who.

5) Where would you build your ideal vacation house and name three features?

Varadero Beach.  Feature one would be the beach, arguably one of the most beautiful ones in the world.  Not sure about the other two features, but having Cuban music, food, and mojitos around, do add to the appeal.

6) What book do you pack when you head out on an adventure?

I usually pack the Rough Guide for the appropriate locale.  It's a very good introduction to the place.  For other readings, it really varies on the mood.  Right now, for my upcoming trip to the Pyrenees I'm taking a couple of the Donald Strachey novels.  This is a rather unusual choice for me, but these novels, authored by Richard Stevenson, about a gay P.I. and his ex-Jesuit partner do hit the mark.

7) If you could solve one challenge facing our world, what would it be?

The downside of globalization is the economic extremes that it creates, leaving those on the short-end with much bitterness.  How to change this?  I don't really know, but helping expand labor equality laws, and environmental protection laws globally may help to reduce the inequities.

8) If you could do "lunch" with someone who would it be? And why?

Steven Squyres, chief scientist investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover Project.  He's smart, he's handsome, and if that's not enough to keep my attention through lunch, he would most definitely keep me mesmerized with all the latest information on Mars.  I might just forget to eat.

9) GayOutdoors has a passion to make it better--in the communities where we live and the environment we cherish. Let us know how you are making a difference in your hometown.

I have done trail maintenance in the past, and still lead trips to outdoor destinations to help expose people to a clearer environment.

10) Finally, are you a Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or Matrix person?

Neither.  I'm not much of a Sci-Fi/Fantasy reader and tend to go for more factual/historical material.

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