<< Valle de la Luna - Part 2

04/03/12 - A Surprise and A Challenge (Part 3 - The Exciting Conclusion)

In the last installment we mentioned a surprise. It was above us, built into the canyon wall, an old Incan ruin. This is about as far south as they conquered, and this was an old fortification dominating the canyon path. A bit further on, there were caves in the wall. Our guide led us on a scramble up the side of the canyon and into the ruins of an Incan outpost. All that were left were stone walls, but there were at least a dozen buildings still partly standing.

We would have lingered, but the light was failing. We left the plateau by an alternate route, clambering down rocks and emerging by the river, the same river we had followed on our way to the trailhead. Then came our race with darkness as we followed the broad flood plain of the river downstream to our guide's truck.

We arrived shortly before dark and began a mad drive along and, at times, through the river, aided by our guide's knowledge, our headlights and the waxing moon. As we are writing this, you know we made it back in time for dinner, but it was quite a journey in the dark.

A view from the canyon floor

An arty shot of an Incan ruin, with the moon

A less arty, but more informative shot

Caves in the canyon wall - We climbed that pile of gravel.

Incan ruins

More ruins, a foundation

Some walls were still standing

Ruins look great in fading sunlight

A view from the ruins - We can imagine the "view lots" real estate ad in the Incan newspaper.

The river flood plain we raced down

Another view of the river

Keywords: chile