Atar, Mauritania

  • Date
  • 17 March 2000
  • Lodging
  • MKT Hotel
  • Distance
  • 592 KM
  • Total
  • 63791 KM

We reached Chinguetti passing through glorious, brown, tabletop mountains. Parts of Chinguetti in the Adrar Region date back to the 13th century – the stone homes on the west side reminded me a little of Samarkand and Bukara, also built by Muslims. We visited an old Koranic library, where the attendant used a homemade key of wood and nails. As the sun set over the desert oasis town, the sand looked like liquid gold.

When we were in Nouakchott, the capital, people kept telling us we had not seen Mauritania if we hadn’t visited Chinguetti and the Adrar Region. Perhaps they are correct, as this is an old desert town as different from the capital – which is essentially only three or four decades old – as imaginable.