Blogs from Chinguetti, Adrar, Mauritania, Africa


Africa » Mauritania » Adrar » Chinguetti December 24th 2019

Quando una nazione genera quasi il 50% delle sue esportazioni da un solo prodotto, si suppone che per lo meno abbia sviluppato le infrastrutture necessarie ad una sua rapida e sicura movimentazione. Tanto di cappello percio' alla Mauritania, un paese quasi del tutto sprovvisto di trasporti pubblici ma che scarrozza il suo prezioso minerale ferroso da una miniera in pieno deserto fino ad un porto sull'oceano bene al sicuro su di un convoglio di piu' di 200 carri merci che vanno a formare uno dei treni piu' lunghi e pesanti al mondo; grazie alla SNIM (la Societa' Nazionale delle Miniere e delle Industrie) la Mauritania si assicura anche una forma di trasporto pubblico del tutto insperata: una carrozza passeggeri viene agganciata in fondo alla fila e cosi', partendo da Nouadhibou sulla costa, i mauritani possono raggiungere ... read more
La mia ombra dalla cima di una duna
Chinguetti: Il minareto della vecchia moschea
Il mio vagone privato

Africa » Mauritania » Adrar » Chinguetti April 2nd 2011

I am on the back of a Ute high above the roof sitting on some bags. It’s pitch black and I am concentrating so I don’t fall asleep. If I do and fall off no one would know for a while. Only one other guy is up there with me and he is facing the other way - The rest of the passengers are squeezed inside. There is no evidence to suggest that I am in the Sahara. It’s just the sound of the tyres crossing compact sand. It’s cold and we are driving at a fair pace. I thought the toughest part of the trip was over but I was only in the middle. I didn’t know it then but by late afternoon I would be stood up by camel. I heard an irregular sound ... read more
2 - Old town Chingetti the former Capital of the Moors
3 - Ready to start gutting at the Fish market Nouakchout
4 - Me with Chingetti locals taken by a kid

Africa » Mauritania » Adrar » Chinguetti May 31st 2009

So the trip in the desert has been going reasonably well. Not exactly what I wanted but at least I am seeing beautiful dunes and oasis. Tonight, my third night outside on the dunes and it seems like the best place yet. Last night was shitty as I was next to the town and in the open. My God is it hot during the day. I spend 12 and 5 pm at the Oasis reading (I just finished Margret Atwood’s “Oryx and Crake” --- it’s very good) and drinking water. Actually I have two guides --- I feel like a true colonial overlord. I was somewhat uncomfortable about this at first but I’m getting used to it. There’s plenty to eat --- last night we had camel stew and bread cooked in the sand. The stew ... read more
The Camel's none too happy...
On the dunes...
Bread cook in the sand...

Africa » Mauritania » Adrar » Chinguetti May 29th 2009

First some reflections on the pick-up ride yesterday. A once in a lifetime experience. I stress ONCE. However, it was very cool despite being somewhat hellish. So yesterday I decided to take a six day camel excursion with a young guy (Evoku) from Chingetti. Once we finally got to Chingetti (blown tire on the truck) a French woman gave me some good info on Senegal. Later her Burkinabe friend gave me info about Burkina Faso so I can stay at his house --- how unbelievably friendly since he has no idea who I am. Staying with Evoku’s family which includes his 18 year old wife and two children, as well as a large extended family. I’m supposed to go to Oudane but that plan got shot due to oil exploration (?). Also there’s a problem with ... read more
Evoku and his YOUNG family
Evoku's family's house
Chingetti 2

Africa » Mauritania » Adrar » Chinguetti July 14th 2008

chinguetti was beautiful, but I dont feel like writting about it much. just check the pictures, Ill post something else instead in a while... oh yeah, just wanted to say that if you want to go to chinguetti you should go noow. since the killing of a bunch of frenchies in mauritania its a dessert city. me and the ppl that came with me were the only tourists in the city, and besides some CIA spies, I mean peace-corps volunteers, also the only whites (nassar in hassanian arab, a word I start to hear more and more in sentences such as: youre not like the other nassar, you dont buy stuff, you poor !)... read more
nomad door

Africa » Mauritania » Adrar » Chinguetti October 20th 2007

After a night in Nouakchott to shower and catch up on food shopping we ventured away from the coast inland to the old trading city of Chinguetti. Once a major player in Mauritania, it is still considered by Mauritanians to be one of the holiest places in Islam. The city itself is a shadow of its former self and is slowly giving way to the sands of the desert that surround it. It's incredible to see the many buildings that are half-burried in the sand, and one can only think that it is one major sand storm away from completely disappearing. How many people get to celebrate their 30th birthday in an ancient city in the middle of the desert? Naturally, camel riding seemed like a unique way to celebrate! They're such funny looking animals, but ... read more
Driving 1
Driving 2
Driving 3

Africa » Mauritania » Adrar » Chinguetti February 8th 2007

Vandaag gaan we richting Chinguetti een rustplaats voor de vroegere kameel karavaans richting het zuiden of richting Mekka, het begin van de ''echte'' Sahara, zoals iedereen hem kent met z'n eindeloze zandduinen. Rond negen gaan we richting ''garage Chinguetti'' de verzamelplaats van pick-ups richting Chinguetti. Zoals gewoonlijk is het na de onderhandelingen over de juiste prijs wachten tot de pick-up vol zit, dat wil zeggen, twee mensen op de bijrijderstoel, vier mensen achterin en minimaal acht in de bak, het vullen van de pick-ups duurt meestal wel een paar uur, dus rond twaalven vertrekken we richting Chinguetti. De bak is afgeladen, met onze bagage, een paar dozen bananen, twee reserve wielen, twee geiten aan de zijkant gebonden, en boven op acht personen, waaronder ik dus. De weg is opzich goed dus we kunnen aardig door rijden ... read more
De sahara

Africa » Mauritania » Adrar » Chinguetti January 3rd 2005

It's been six days since I was able to get anywhere near an internet cafe - in that time a lot has happened. I am going to write this blog in diary format, day by day as I wrote the entries in my notebook. Some amazing things have happened in that time, including a bush taxi leaving for a 3 hour journey across the desert without putting any petrol in. It ran out of petrol after half an hour. So, we were stuck in the middle of nowhere. What was the driver thinking of! Did he expect the taxi to run on thin air, or was he expecting to beg the petrol from passing traffic? Anyway, more of that incident later. I will now use the diary format. 28th DECEMBER Guess what? The train didn't arrive ... read more
In the Iron ore wagons

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