Chinguetti - A Night in the Desert


The sun rises at half past five. The chill of the night is still to be felt.  Camels and herder are ready.  A sea of dunes, like little mountains, is stretching out until the horizon.  A hard days walk lies in front of us.

Slowly, we make our way though the last houses of the city, entering the dunes. Suddenly the town behind us have vanished and as the ever-blowing wind wipes out our traces, it would be hard, to find back the way alone.

The sun rises higher on her way from east to west and the first bottles of water are drunk. Sand is in ones mouth, nose and shoes. Every step reveals new landscapes, never seen before. But the excitement diminishes as the sun comes nearer to its zenith. Then the time for rest has come.

After some bites of bread and dates, some water and a brief rest, the journey goes on again.

The heat is nearly unbearable, but it gets better with every passing minute. When the shadows get longer and the steps of tired feet shorter, a small valley opens itself in front of us. Delved deep in between the dunes, some date palms are to be seen, and some huts.

Under a red sky, we prepare dinner and tea, spreading our blankets afterwards and go to sleep. The full moon rises, brings with it the chill of the night. When every bone is frozen, the camel herder makes a fire and prepares tea. We sit together, shaking, sipping and waiting, for a new dawn.