Sixty60 Journey

Apacheta: Pile of Stones

On our first day of the trek to Rainbow Mountains, we stopped along the road in the village of Tinki and made an offering of coca leaves and red wine to Pachamama (earth/time mother, who embodies the mountains) for safe passage. On day two and at the second pass — Arapa Pass (15,419′), we built an *apacheta, asking for the same blessing. In the background is Ausangate Mountain at 20,898′ — the highest summit in Cusco, Peru. Inspiring to say the very least...

“*Apachetas were built by Incas as they climbed the trail up the Andean mountain passes. They picked up stones or rocks and carried it for a short distance to the summit. They then added the stone to an existing apacheta located along the trail or left the stone as the beginning of a new apacheta. Travelers then said a prayer to the gods for luck and protection during their travels and for the elimination of travel fatigue. In addition to being a source of spiritual power, apachetas also served as trail markers for the rugged mountain terrain.” – Itchy Foot Traveler

Our apacheta was forned with love and heart shaped rocks, built upon a solid foundation. Not only a good metaphor for a hiking journey, but also for life.

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