Chickens, hens and a rooster walks around in the garden of sand, there are hammocks and comfortable chairs here and there. It’s quiet and filled with overland travelers relaxing. The only ones disturbing are the flies, who just increase in number as evening approaches. And they know just how to disturb. I am resting at the auberge called Bab Sahara, an oasis in this desert. In Atar, in the region Adrar in Mauritania.
I’ve had a hot shower and spent the whole day trying to recover from the train ride, talking to fellow travelers about our journeys. The landlord told me he’d invite me to the festival I Oudane that is taking place now, I’ve been thinking about going and he said he’d arrange an English speaking guide. And, the best of all, he would make sure I can walk around as a journalist without hassle. I would be invited as a journalist and can cover the festival without being afraid. “It’s good journalists come here, the region is never covered.” he said and promised to take care of me.
And hey, this is probably the place where I will learn how to ride a camel. And taste camel milk for the first time in my life. I might have said it before, but I’ve heard the camel milk in Mauritania is the best in the world.
The rooster walks up to the hut, finds some seeds in the sand. The chickens who follow him where ever he go gather around, picks the seeds from the sand. Then, the duck (The Duck) comes from around the corner. He walks with such a self confident style that only a duck can, wobbling a little from side to side as he walks up to the chickens. Back and neck all straight. As he comes the chickens all jump out of the way, he knows exactly what he wants and with a beak four times theirs size he picks the seeds. When they are all gone he smack satisfied and looks at me, head tilted, with his small dark eyes. He’s saying “more seeds? Huh? Not?” And off he goes, with that self-confident style. He knows exactly what he wants, and he takes it.