It is a visual wonderland, where imposing mountains rise almost two vertical miles above sprawling salt flats, and canyons are painted in strokes of blue, pink, violet and green from sunrise to sunset. This is Death Valley - one of the most inhospitable places on the planet. Nowhere else is a landscape so exquisite yet brutal, stunning yet harsh. Here, temperatures spike into the 130s, the earth cracks like broken clay and when the hot wind blows, all anyone can taste is dust and salt. Ironically, it is water that has shaped this super-arid home of true survivors.