I think you've created a much more compelling image with #2, for several reasons:
1) I like the composition much more- my eye starts at the top left and then makes a zig-zag sweep across the rocks, stopping at the foreground sand. Then, I just want to do it again.
2) You've revealed much more detail in the rocks, and their textures keep my eye busy.
3) I like the increased contrast and saturation, which I think this image needed.