It was an easy climb through the fort and the opposing mirador. Everyone once in a while the altitude would give you attitude and slap you just enough to make you stop for a few seconds. The views were great (a recurring theme in Chile) and a nice way to spend a couple hours. I did drink 3 litres of water over the 3 hours from start to finish.
The Valle de Luna is a wind swept series of dunes and rock formations dating back millions of years. It was a huge salt lake in it's hey day and when looking out over it you can see the white expanses of salt residue. The surrounding area is fed by water run off from the surrounding volcanoes (high enough for snow) and there are a variety of large and small oasis sitting right smack in the middle of the desert. I took a few photos but just hung out and enjoyed the views and the history of the area from my handy dandy guide book....and drank more water.
Another view of Valle De Luna. All the peaks in the formations to my right were perfectly in line with each other. Years of Mother Nature doing her thing. The Valle De Muerte was more of the same but with a different history. I took a few pictures but they did not do it any justice. Located near the Ruins at Quitor and spectacular in its own right it recieved its name after the massacre of the Fort. The 300 defenders that survived were beheaded and thier bodies were found in this valley hundreds of years later, sans heads. The heads were spiked and posted around the fort for everyone to see, which confuses the hell out of me. The Spaniards killed everyone in the fort and surrounding villages, who did they want to see these heads on spikes posted around the fort?
Sunset over the Atacama, no description required.