"Atar as waypoint" Atar by plubarj

Atar Travel Guide: 40 reviews and 66 photos

A magical night...

We left Nouakchott at aroung 6PM.
The road is in excellent conditions. The drivers are hurry and drive fast. The road to Atar is 5-6 hours long.
As we opted for the cheapest way for travelling (sitting on the lugage, on the pickup), we plunged at high speed in the desert night.

In the wind at 100km/h in the desert, perched on the car with 5 other people, everyone trying to find the less uncomfortable position (i had my wife sleeping on my right knee, and a 8 year old kid on my left knee, without daring to move, scared to wake them up), we flew into the dunes crossing our first camels on the road under the moon... magical night.

Several police / military controls let us to walk a little bit.

One stop in the night: praying time. In the middle of nowhere, the pickup stopped, everyone started to pray. During that break, walking a little in the desert, i was surprised to discover one man, praying too, alone at maybe 50 kilometers of any village... the desert is never desert.

Arrival in Atar

We arrived at midnight in Atar. One of our co-traveller showed to us a location to spend the night. He payed a taxi, questioned many people, walked into a lot of streets to find a place for us. Whith the habit travelling in north africa, we were sure that he was waiting for a tip or a commission. Wrong! Nothing! And the Auberge where we slept did not belong to one of his parent. This confirmed our impression in the bus station (Nouakchott). The Mauritanien are the rare people i know, who will spent so much time and effort to help you without waiting anything in return.

Atar's market

In the morning, we went to the market to find a taxi for Chinguetti (our destination).
Atar's market is very huge. Small streets, tiny wood shops, the flesh is drying under the flies, marvellous.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Don't miss Atar's market
  • Last visit to Atar: Apr 2006
  • Intro Updated Feb 7, 2008
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plubarj

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