Meet 79-year-old Pedro Luca, the man who has been living in a cave in northern Argentina for 40 years.
The “modern caveman” has survived without running water or electricity in his cozy cave up in the mountain in northern Tucman province. As for food, he does what every paleolithic man has done before him: he uses his rifle to hunt for game.
But whenever he’s not up for a hunting session, he makes the three-hour trek down the mountain to the nearest town of San Pedro de Colalao. His main source of water is a creek, which he says is “the purest, richest water there is.”
Luca has become a legend of sorts in his area, so much so that the villagers of San Pedro de Colalao often give him food and other supplies. He also gets visits from tourists and schoolchildren every so often.
Luca receives a pension from the government worth about $100-$200, which he then uses to buy candles, yeast, and corn. The only technological object in Luca’s possession is a small, battery-powered radio which he has a hard time tuning because of the weak signal from high up in the mountain.
Luca shares his rustic digs with a slew of other roommates: eleven roosters and two goats that roam the mountainside during the day and come to Luca’s cave at night to seek shelter from predators. One would imagine how colorful bedtime is for this unconventional family.
He thinks “fire is magical,” and starts his day every morning by lighting a flame at 3 a.m.
Luca has been dreaming of living in the wild, in isolation, ever since he was a boy. Raised by his grandfather in San Pedro de Colalao, Luca left at age 14 to travel and earn a living, but came back to fulfill his dream of being a mountain man.
“I never asked myself why I chose to live here,” he said. “There was another cave nearby but I liked this one better. Sometimes, I think that I would have liked to travel the world, see Europe. But there’s a lot of sea in the middle of it all and you have to have the time to cross that sea.”
His skin is weather-beaten, and most of his teeth are gone, but Pedro Luca has the face of a happy man. Youthful, even.
A simple man, living a humble life of his own choosing. Who could ask for more?