[ Nouakchott, Mauritania]
The ride south from Atar into Nouakchott was…hot. The first day found me in a small oasis named Terjit, where I met a great group of expats living and working in the capital. After that came a three-day push through the most barren area I had seen thus far, with temperatures hovering around 40C and very little shelter from the sun. By 11am each day the horizon dissolved into heat-mirage in every direction–straight out of the movies. I learned quickly where to find water and shade, taking a clue from the many goats and camels along the route.
Much like Monogolia–another inhospitable and unforgiving landscape–the people here were kind and helpful without exception, or question. There is simply no way for a community to survive in such conditions otherwise.
Despite the heat I made incredible time, covering 400km in three days. On the last afternoon, after my customary nap in the shade of desert flora, I was stopped in my tracks by a sandstorm and took shelter–not for the first or last time–at a tiny roadside mosque.
More details are in the image captions, as usual.