Pedro Luca, 79, has lived in a cave high on a mountain in northern Argentina for 40 years without running water or electricity.
He lives in the cave with 11 cockerels and 2 goats. The animals roam the mountainside during the day and return at night.
A creek is his main source of water. He says it’s the purest and richest water there is.
He starts his day around 3 a.m with a fire after the crow of the cockerels wake him.
When he gets hungry he picks up his rifle and goes hunting or heads on a 3-hour trek down the mountain to the nearest settlement of San Pedro de Colalao.
Luca’s skin is weather-beaten and he has few teeth left, but he seems much younger than a man who is almost 80.
Luca says he always wanted to live in isolation in the wild, even as a boy. He was raised by his grandfather in San Pedro de Colalao, which he first left at age 14 to travel northern Argentina and earn a living transporting coal to Bolivia.
He returned to the area and the cave. Word of his solitary lifestyle spread and he now gets occasional visits from tourists and schoolchildren.
“I never asked myself why I chose to live here,” he says. “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.”
Luca has become a legend in San Pedro de Colalao, and town dwellers often give him food and supplies.
He buys candles, yeast and corn with a government old-age pension, worth about $100-$200, that he collects at the town’s post office.
His only technological gadget is a small, battery-powered radio, but he has a hard time tuning into stations because the signal is weak up the mountain.