We are now in Urubamba, and I have had a chance to reflet on my experience at the base of Ausangate. Upon arriving to our second camp, I began to realize how strikingly beautiful the landscape was around us. Our group was fortunate enough to climb up to the bottom of Ausangate, just a few hundred feet away from the glacial snow and ice. In this location, the Kondori Brothers (our guides) included us in a ceremony of praising and connecting with the mountain. We began by blowing on coca leaves in the direction of Ausangate. Then, we started chewing them, and closed our eyes to think of a wish. We were given three more leaves to symbolize our wish. All of our leaves ere cafefully placed at the bottom of our offering to the mountain. The Kondori Brothers used sweets, cookies, spices, alcohol, cotton, confetti, and much more as a sacrifice to Ausangate. Each object symbolized something, and was used for a specific purpose to feed the mountain. By doing this, the Brothers hoped that the mountain would accept their offering and grant their wishes. Based on the placement of the coca leaves, we found that Ausangate accepted our offering. I thought that this entire experience was amazing, and our group gained a new understanding of the connection between the Quechua people and their environment.
I do not have a picture.