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November 25th 2013
Published: October 4th 2014
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Our excursion into the desert took us to the Cordillera de la Sal, and our first stop was in El Valle de la Muerte. Our guide, Mariano, explained that the name, Death Valley, originated as a misunderstanding. A Belgium priest said that the placed looked like Marte (Mars), and the native indians, who were not familiar with Spanich, thought he said that the placed looked like Muerte (death). Voila! The name stuck.

His first statement was correct though. I had heard that Mars land vehicles are tested in Atacama because it really does resemble the Mars terrain like no other place on earth. We went into some canyons created by the sea water trapped there millions of years ago, and could see the salt crystals inbeded in the sand, shining in the sun. The colors were amazing. The place is stunning!

One stop was an overview from a high point on the road, and it was spectacular.

Another stop was along a canyon called Dinosaur Valley because the rocky formations resemble those prehistoric animals.

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