Travels in Bolivia

Matt Welsh

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Lakathiya, Cordillera Real

This is the village of Lakathiya, at about 12500 feet (3800 m) high in the Cordillera Real range of the Bolivian Andes.

We spent 4 days trekking in the Cordillera Real and aimed to visit 3 mountain lakes: Laguna Illampu, Laguna Chillata, and Laguna Glacial. The route was very high, and on the first day we climbed from Sorata at 8839 feet to Laguna Illampu at 14432 feet -- an elevation gain of 5593 feet (1700 m)! At the end of the first day I was very sick due to the altitude gain; this was higher than we had trekked in the Himalaya.

The only really unfortunate aspect of the trek was that the weather was not cooperative at all: 3 out of the 4 days it was completely overcast and we could hardly see the peaks of the Illampu massif (which turned out to be right in front of us the whole time).

Photograph Copyright (c)2001 by Matt Welsh and Amy Bauer. All rights reserved.