The Golden Apples of the Hesperides


The Atlas MountainsThe Atlas Mountains

After going all the way back to Mycenae, Eurystheus makes Hercules do another labor, even after has has completed his required X. The labor was this: bring back the golden apples of the Hera. They were kept in the garden of the Hesperides, which, aside form being impossible to find, was surrounded but an enormous wall, and its only gate was guarded by a fierce dragon. Hercules, not knowing how he would ever complete this task, began to wander about the world, seeking any information or knowledge about this place. Eventually he came to the rock where Promethius, father of men and giver of fire, was chained to a rock to have his liver eaten daily by an eagle. Hercules killed the eagle and set him free, and in return, he told our hero how to get the apples. On edge of the world Atlas the titan held the sky upon his shoulders. He should ask Atlas, the father of the Hesperides, for help. Hercules reached him, and Atlas agreed, provided that Hercules would hold the sky up while he was gone to get the apples. Hercules, perhaps foolishly, agreed to this, and Atlas left. After waiting a long while, Atlas returned, and said that he would would take the apples straight to Eurystheus for him. Hercules again agreed, but first asked if Atlas would hold the world again so that Hercules could palce a pad on his shoulders. When Atlas did this, Hercules left with the apples, and returned to Mycenae with them. Sadly, as they apples belonged to the gods, a mortal, even a king, could not keep the apples, so Minerva took them back to the garden at the edge of the world.

The really incredible thing about this labor, however, was that it shouldn't have happened. Hercules' older relative, Perseus, had already killed Atlas, generations before. So how did Hercules get to meet him later? Well, now you've got something to ponder on the looong sea voyage ahead.

The Tour

After all that journying by sea, a short hike on land is in order. After sailing for VII days we will disembark onto the shores of Libya, near the Atlas Mountains, where Hercules met the Titan holding up the sky.

  • Distance from last labor: CCLXXVI miles
  • Time from last labor: X days
  • Route: Sea and land, no roads
  • Features: Atlas Mountains, beautiful shore of Libya, temporal paradox
  • Lodging:
    • The ship for a few days, then onto land to camp: DCL d.c.