DAF wrote:I am getting a little depressed from the lack of sun here in Lima and so I am looking for a new place to live to start my own farm as well. It seems as though Huanuco city has the country's best weather as it has sun year round and it's dry compared to Lima, however lacks green vegetation from what i have seen on the internet, maybe it's greener? Does anybody know of a place like Vilcabamba Ecuador here in Peru with mild weather, sun year round and lots of green and water springs?
I always thought the countryside around Arequipa was very appealing, the weather constantly warm and sunny, with lots of agriculture in the surrounding valleys, but as I've only visited for short periods, maybe someone whose lived there much longer could offer more insight.
One thing to be wary of are places that get hyped. You really don't want to find the next Vilcabamba. If you do find somewhere like this, it probably won't be the dream you imagine it to be. Firstly the foreign hordes will soon follow you, if they're not already there, and the place will end up so hyped that the reality disappoints. When I was in Vilcabamba, it was full of depressed looking expats running small businesses on a shoestring trying to sell tourist tat and mountain bike trips to hard-up backpackers - because there was so much competition and the backpacker market hardly flush, people seemed to be making scarcely enough money to get by. There was also a small community of US baby-boomer retirees convinced they're going to live to be 130 years old, most of whom showed no interest in integrating with the locals- they could have been in a rainy version of Kansas, which brings me on to the weather. That was pretty terrible and not the year-round spring climate I was expecting. Yes, the sun might come out most days of the year, but it still rains almost every day from October to May, even if you get a few hours of sunshine in the morning. So the year round spring climate of Vilcabamba is a myth, as is the idea of the villagers living to be 130.
"Even as Vilcabamba's international fame grew, scientists continued to investigate the secret of the villagers' longevity, but some were beginning to grow skeptical. In particular, Dr. Alexander Leaf, the Harvard Medical School researcher who had been among the first to conduct research in Vilcabamba, was having doubts. His suspicions were aroused when he realized that the villagers were inconsistent in their self-reported ages. For instance, in 1971 he had met a man who reported his age as 122. When Leaf returned three years later, that same man claimed to be 134 years old.
Leaf then persuaded Dr. Richard Mazess of the University of Wisconsin Madison and Dr. Sylvia Forman of the University of California Berkeley to help determine the correct ages of Vilcabamba's elderly population. They reached the conclusion that there was not a single centenarian living in Vilcabamba. The oldest person in the village was found to be 96 years old. The average age of those claiming to be over 100 years was actually 86 years. The researchers presented these results on February 27, 1978 at a workshop at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.
Far from being the 'Valley of Longevity,' the researchers concluded that "Individual longevity in Vilcabamba is little, if any, different from that found throughout the rest of the world." Further, they reported that "Life expectancy (corrected for exaggeration) at all ages in Vilcabamba (and Loja) is in fact less than in the U.S."
t turned out that Vilcabamba did actually have a higher-than-normal percentage of elderly people. However, this was caused by migration patterns. Young people tended to move out of the area, while the elderly moved in.
Although the Vilcabambans did not enjoy greater longevity than the rest of the world, they did have one consolation. Researchers noted that the Vilcabamban lifestyle, which included hard work in a high altitude combined with a low-calorie, low-animal-fat diet, did seem to keep the villagers healthy and vigorous in their old age.