Cordillera Real Trek Day 10: Laguna Khotia To Alka Khota

Previous Post: Day 9 – Rio Jayllahuaya Valley To Laguna Khotia

  • time: 7:45 – 12:15 p.m.
  • distance:  8.6 kilometers
  • high point: 4784 meters
  • campsite: below Alka Khota
Day 10 - Distance and Elevation

Day 10 – Distance and Elevation

note: Like other Aymara words, khota has a number of different English spellings. Among others,  I’ve seen Kota, Quota, and Quta.

This would prove to be a pretty light day.  We started off with on a visible trail on the southwest mountainside above Kara Khota. About an hour into the day’s walk we headed east, gaining altitude all the while.  By ten we had reached the day’s high point, and were soon headed down into the Alka Khota valley. The Google satellite image below has the 2.5 kilometer route along the valley floor to the concrete building we would find near the bottom of the Alka Khota. We waited for about an hour for the donkeys to arrive and the threat of rain had everyone pitching in extra to get the tents up.

Lago Khotia to Alka Khota

Day 11 - looking back at our Khotia campsite and the Lago

Day 11 – looking back at our Khotia campsite and the Lago Khotia

looking down Kara Khota

looking down Kara Khota

looking back at Lago Khotia and the campsite

looking back at Lago Khotia and the campsite

contemplating one of the day's descents

contemplating one of the day’s descents

satellite view of the above shot - a nameles glacial puddle

satellite view of the above shot – a nameles glacial puddle

from the same spot - looking south to Sura Khota and Lago Taypi Chaka

from the same spot – looking south to Sura Khota and Lago Taypi Chaka

a lower down view from the north of the two above lakes

a lower down view from the north of the two above lakes

unfinished tourist lodge above the east banks of Sura Khota

unfinished tourist lodge above the east banks of Sura Khota

The lodge on the plateau was apparently built with international development money to help create tourism-related job for the local community; either the money ran out or the folly of the location only became obvious after the building started.  In any case, the building was never finished and the roof is already leaking!

We looked over at the waste of someone’s time and money, and then headed down the diagonal “trail” seen in the photo below.

the hint of a trail taking us down to the valley floor

the hint of a trail taking us down to the valley floor

Here is a closer look at the sand and gravel trail we walked down.

Our guide Javier coming down the trail - Tony's photo

Our guide Javier coming down the trail – Tony’s photo

Once down on the valley floor we saw – not for the first time –  evidence of impressive campesino irrigation work. It made an interesting contrast to the “white elephant’ up on the plateau and perhaps shows that if the project relates directly to the locals and their traditional herding and farming activities they know exactly what to do and how it do it properly.

The photo below shows (inadequately!) a canal leading water off the main stream so that it can be used to irrigate  more of the valley land.

irrigation canals in use in the upper valley

irrigation canals in use in the upper valley

It was overcast and threatening to rain when we got to the campsite below Alka Khota shortly after noon. Here is a shot – not mine, but Javier’s – of our lunch spot at the lake –

Alka Khota - trekkers' lunch

Alka Khota – trekkers’ lunch – Javier’s photo

I seem to be busy not with my sandwich but with my camera. In fact, I am probably working on the shot you see below.  The current generation of Sony cameras have this fantastic feature called “Panorama” which creates a stitched-together in-camera shot like the one you see below. No need even for a tripod since everything is aligned by the in-camera program.

panorama - Alka Khota and the Cordillera Real

panorama – Alka Khota and a slice of the Cordillera Real

When the donkeys arrived about an hour later their loads were quickly taken off and tents put up and gear tucked away in record time.  While it felt damp and misty  for the rest of the day, it never did actually rain.

the donkeys arrive at Alka Khota

the donkeys arrive at Alka Khota

unloading the donkeys on a misty afternnon at Alka Khota

unloading the donkeys on a misty afternnon at Alka Khota

looking into the mist at the top (east end) of Alka Khota

looking into the mist at the top (east end) of Alka Khota

Next Post: Day 11 – Alka Khota To Juri Khota

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