The Romantic Notion of the Desert

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Desert, Desert, and More Desert

Mauritania is not usually on anyone’s bucket list.  It is poor, the desert is taking over, it only abolished slavery in 2001 (and still has slaves) and really there is not very much there.  It is, however, hauntingly beautiful, desolate, diverse and in some ways scary.  It was where the Rally and so many others have their desert focused portion—the Paris Dakar spent a lot of time in Mauritania.  Our first real day in Mauritania we started off on a 530 km run from Bou Lanour to Atar along the longest train in the world (it’s an ore train and can be up to 3 kms long) tracks.  There was a sort of driveable track running along the train tracks and our waypoints for the day started there with other points located in the dunes.