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Welcome To Vilcabamba
"The Sacred Valley of Longevity"

This Is A Privately Circulated Blog, scribbled exclusively for Friends & Familiars, that peers into and pontificates about Expat life in the hinterlands of South America. If your eyesight is less than optimal (like mine), then just click the type size up a notch on your browser..

Here you will find a series of curmudgeonly commentaries that I've posted from atop my rickety old soapbox for the past few years. And yes, there are indeed political rantings, so place your seats in the upright position and fasten your seat belts .... it may be a bumpy ride.


Travelgram #4 (It's The Water!)

In one of my previous Travelgrams, I touched lightly on the subject of Vilcabamba's extraordinary water. It is probably THE most important component of the reputed longevity of the valley's inhabitants. There are, of course, other reasons given.

Since the early part of the century, foreign scientists and visitors have come to study the Valley. Their aim has been to research all aspects of the geography, climate, soil and water conditions in the hope of discovering the key to the longevity of it's inhabitants.

Japanese scientists that came to study "los Viejos" (The old Men"), soon realized that the valley is charged by negative ionization. This was in part due to the evening electrical storms that grounded on the Mandango, the massive peak over-looking the valley. For this reason, the air in Vilcabamba feels so crisp, so clean as after a strong cleansing storm. "The "old men" live many years in Vilcabamba because they breathe this pure air and drink the pure water that produces a "chelating" effect on their bodies", concluded the Japanese.

Scientists from the U.S. found that the secret to the longevity of the people in the valley was due to the perfect mineral balance found in the drinking water. Articles have appeared in Readers Digest, National Geographic and in other important publications of the world, they all have had their theories about the Longevity of people in the "Sacred Valley" of Vilcabamba. However, most of these experts agree that the water that flows down from the High Andean glaciers to the valley floor is perhaps THE most important element.

In 1982, the renowned medical researcher Dr. Morton Walker arrived in Vilcabamba to investigate the cell mineralization of the local residents and its relationship with genetÌcs and the natural environment. Though Dr. Walker was not in Vilcabamba for very long, he managed to pinpoint numerous very interesting facts that establish the direction of future research here. For a long time there had been some controversy over whether the supposed longevity in Vilcabamba was due to genetic factors. Since this area has been hailed in Ecuador and Peru for many generations as a sacred place where old people abound, some scientists were sure that it must be a gene that was responsible.

Morton Walker took hair samples from the nape of numerous residents of various ages. These samples were carbonized and analysis was performed in a California lab.

The results showed exactly why the folks of Vilcabamba have healthy, long lives. When examining the data on children, one finds the kind of random mineralization that is common everywhere and is mostly due to genetic variation. By the time that they are young adults, there are many similarities in their cell mineralization. Once the people of Vilcabamba are 50 years old, their body minerals are virtually identical, and accumulative toxic metals are at very low levels.

Dr. Walker also had samples of the river water and various foods analyzed to see how their mineral ratios related to the cell minerals in the populace. These were even more revealing. The ratio of minerals common in all the old people was the same as the mineral ratio of the local water. Foods that were irrigated with river water also had the same basic ratio.

So, what's going on at the cellular level in Vilcabamba? Dr. Walker was already studying the relatively new field of mineral chelation at that time. It was not difficult for him to connect Vilcabamba and natural chelation. The people of Vilcabamba were getting a sophisticated chelation treatment from their environment for free. Dr. Walker claims that the ratio of calcium, magnesium and manganese in the water is virtually perfect, preventing calcium from leaving the bones once it is absorbed. This obviously is the reason that Vilcabambans, who consume less than half the calcium that most Europeans do, never suffer from osteoporosis. Hey, it's the water ---- that tasteless, odorless, colorless and calorie-free liquid that every human being on earth must imbibe to sustain life.

And there is no substitute. There are more than five billion people on this planet and every single one of those people needs about 2-1/2 quarts of water... every day... to keep healthy and stay alive.

No water, no life.

But, so what? There's more water on earth than there is earth, right?

Yes, that's true. However, 97% of all that water is sea water. And sea water, of course, is just chock full of salt. Anyone who drinks only sea water will soon die of thirst and dehydration as that person's body tries desperately to flush out all that excess salt. Of course, we humans can use sea water... if... we remove the salt. But, that is very expensive!

Sea water is not a good choice for agriculture or industry either. It kills most crops and literally (and very quickly) rusts out most machinery.

In truth, only a mere 3% of the world's water is fresh, not salty. But, almost all of that fresh water is locked up in glaciers and ice caps or is deep underground. Which means...

Only A Measly 1% Of All The Water On This Planet Is Easily Accessible To Mankind!

And, much of that water is so polluted it is killing thousands upon thousands of people every day... plus... it is making millions of us horribly sick. Think I'm exaggerating?

So, how's the purity of the water supply in your own city or town? Very likely, your city simply can't do a perfect job of cleaning up your water supply. The problem is just too overwhelming. So, what they do is, they dump chlorine in the water! Which, in a way, is good ... because chlorine kills a lot of those nasty, disease-causing bugs in the water. But hey, you know why it is able to kill all those bugs? It's very simple...

It's Because Chlorine Is POISON!

But wait! Don't go getting angry at your municipal water company. They are very likely doing the best job they can, considering the huge problems they are trying to solve. Yes, it's true: Chlorine is bad for you. But, the "bad guys" that would otherwise still be alive in our water supply... if... it wasn't chlorinated... is truly the stuff of which nightmares are made.

When you start talking about E-coli, amoebic cysts, cryptosporidium, giordia and so on, you are talking about "biological villains" that cause...

Health Problems You Don't Even Want To Know About!

So why is the water in Vilcabamba not equally as contaminated as in the United States? What is it about the food and water of this place that makes it special?

Fifteen kilometers above Vilcabamba is the continental divide and the highest local peaks. Up there it is almost constantly precipitating in one way or another. All water, including rain water, has some mineralization. Only water distilled in a lab is pure. So, when our rain, drizzle or sleet fall on these mountains it is already carrying some dissolved solids. The ground on the very high ridges of the Andes is covered with thick grass-like plants that grow and die; but since they can't really rot at the temperature up there, they just continue to grow one on top of the other. What this creates is a deep vegetable sponge that filters and mineralizes the water as it passes through. The Andes in this area were covered by glaciers during the last ice-age. These glaciers carved out shallow basins in the rock at about 3,000 meters of elevation. Now, they are lakes and the water has virtually the same mineralization as the river water in the valley below. The kinds of rocks that make up the lower terrains of the Andes are not particularly reactive to H20. So, all the minerals in Vilcabamba water, and the most important ones in the irrigated food chain are coming from a vegetable source. These grasses of the Andean tundra and the forests that grow in wind-protected clefts are feeding on glacier-ground rock particles of an ancient age.

Fortunately for Vilcabamba, far below, there are no dikes of precious metals lacing the upper watershed. Otherwise gold miners would have long ago contaminated the high creeks with mercury and other toxic by-products found all over the Andes. In fact, gold is found almost every place else around, besides the Vilcabamba watershed. Also, these highlands are too rough and rocky for agricultural purposes. Therefore nobody's been fertilizing or fumigating up there. No one even lives up that high, since pasture animals cannot survive on this rough grass. Its minerals are balanced, but it has almost no protein. This tundra, cloud-forest area is useless, besides producing some of the best water on the earth's surface .... if not THE best!

So why hasn't some enterprising entrepreneur simply bottled up the water in Vilcabamba and added it to the other 350-some brands of bottled water in the world? They have! But the cost of transporting heavy five-gallon plastic containers of water to the US market is simply too prohibitive, unless you don't mind paying $35.00 a gallon for water!
So most of this bottled Vilcabamba water stays right there in the valley to be sold as "Gringo Water" in the hotels and restaurants.

And that, dear reader, is one of the reasons I am spending so much time here in Vilcabamba .... drinking the purest, most therapeutic water to be found on Planet Earth. Will it help me to live to a hundred? I don't know. But in any case it sure does taste sweet, and I seem to be gulping down more than my fair share of it.

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