Eduardo, El Chalten, Argentina
Eduardo, owns Hotel La Aldea in El Chalten, which also doubles as an amazingly cosy whiskey bar looking out onto the magnificent Fitz Roy mountain. We went there every day to sit by the open fire, sample Eduardo’s whiskey and chat with the man himself. He quickly and instinctively became one of our favourite people. When we interviewed him we better understood why. The interview had us in tears.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I’d try to solve the world’s environmental problems – the overheating of the world. Living here in El Chalten by a glacier, you question how to change the weather all the time. We had a very dry summer and it was very bad for the vegetation. Things like that show us how bad it is. The glaciers really are melting.
What’s your greatest achievement?
Realising that material things aren’t important. It’s best to enjoy time with the people, sharing whiskey or time in the mountain. It’s not important to have the body of Brad Pitt or the latest car.
If you could travel in time where would you go?
To the 80s. Everything was perfect then. It’s too exaggerated now. We’ve pushed the limits too far. I wish I’d been a teenager in the 80s.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Someone once told me you have to make your own suit. Only you can make your own future. I began to work in the hotel business in my twenties and soon became a general manager. Now, before reaching 30, I manage my own hotel.
Describe your perfect day.
Spending time in the mountains. I love The Fitz Roy range.
What trait to you most like in yourself and others?
I like people who aren’t defeated at the first sign of opposition. I like hungry people and I am hungry to learn a lot.
What trait to you most dislike in yourself and others?
I don’t like that I don’t have a plan. I’m running and sometimes I don’t have the time to enjoy. In this business, you don’t live years, you live seasons.
When where you happiest?
When I became the man my Mum wanted me to be. My Dad had different hopes for me – to be a lawyer or a doctor or something – but Mum simply wanted me to be a good man and that’s what I try to be.
What’s your greatest fear?
I don’t have a fear. Two years ago I was in a car accident in Patagonia where I lost my Mum. From that tragedy, I don’t have a fear – I already passed it. Now I try to enjoy all the days as though they are the last.
Have you ever seen something you can’t explain?
When you live somewhere like this, you see lights all the time that are hard to explain.
And in the car accident where I lost my Mum, all my side of the car was destroyed and hers was intact, yet she was the one who died. My sister said its because my mother couldn’t have lived without me. There was a bottle of whiskey in the car with us that day – the last whiskey I drank with my Mum. It flew 1000 metres from the car but didn’t break. I still have it today.