Across a searing Saharan summer I crossed the Adrar Plateau of northern Mauritania. The only transportation was either hitching or shared taxis, that squeezed in 6 or 7 passengers into an aging Mercedes Benz.

Most of these images were shot from a moving vehicle (from the front window, once I cleaned the caked dust from the windscreen with water and tissue). Occasionally, we stopped at a desert road settlement. Sometimes at police checkpoints, where my passport was demanded.

My destination in Adrar was the regional capital of Atar. It was a long, hot, dusty journey; baking by 8 AM (like late 40s celsius). One male passenger droned on the entire 6 hours – to the others in Arabic; amid this endless rant all I could make out were the words Hamas, Israel, America, Iran, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, Iraq, Salmon Rushdie.

My final goal was further north, to the isolated, ancient town of Chinguetti: the 7th most holy place in Islam.

Travels in Mauritania – 2007

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