Nouakchott to Atar 2

We passed through a deserted-looking, wind and dust-swept Akjoujt, the only major town en route
.. which was an ancient copper mining centre and where mining is soon to resume full production to cater for the ever growing and IMHO questionable Chinese consumption of Africa's natural resources. As we were crossing yet another large and barren plain of rocky soil with the very occasional tree .. both of us started to look at each other with uncertain expressions on our faces.

We were both wondering where all the water .. that was around 200 metres away on either side of the road .. had come from. Trees, large rocks and even the occasional Camel were perfectly reflected in the water and it appeared as though we were driving through the middle of a large flooded plain.
So convinced were we, that we even stopped and looked on our map for a river or a water source.

Of course, if we hadn't been so amazed and had thought about it properly; in this bone dry area of the Sahara Desert, there aren't any rivers or lakes .. so it was indeed a
mirage.
The first either of us had ever seen and so realistic we could not believe it was not true.
We initially thought we were both hallucinating !!

Our route

After around five hours driving, we started to leave the sand dunes and entered a more mountainous area with the rocky mounds becoming higher and higher.

As we neared the mountainous area, we found one of Mauritania's equivalents of a motel ..
which would be used by travellers for overnight stays during their long journeys.

Driving up and over this range of hills, we found ourselves on top of a rocky plateau ...
looking over a plain at a range of flat-topped mountains, stretching into in the distance.

With a knowing smile, Gabriel suggested that we turn right onto a gravel track, as he knew of a very special place that he wanted to show me, which he had visited five years previously.
So we headed off across the rocky plain towards the mountains of the Adrar Plateau.

All around us were incredible flat-topped mountains, standing out high above the flat plain.

Layers of serrated rock around their sides with sand at their base and the intense sunshine creating a misty blue effect in the photographs.