arts and crafts and traditions of Walata dazzle us the
moment we arrive in this city—for centuries a stopover on
the trans-Sahara caravan routes—and explain why UNESCO declared
it a World Heritage Site some decades ago. About
25 kilometres from here we find Guelb Djmel, a herding town on whose
southern hill are remains of an ancient Neolithic settlement.
The route is an invitation to discover more of Mauritania's
towns and cities, and so we get to Shuergde, a town full
of curious buildings which is thought to have been the capital of
the ancient kingdom of the same name and at whose foot is the township
of Wediniti, a real oasis of plant-life. And that
isn't all. Taguraret is located some 75 kilometres from Walata.
This town shows us how nomads live. Here too there are
Neolithic remains and we can buy the traditional figures made from
clay with salt. Tichitt, for its part, has quite a lot in common
with Walata itself: its origins are equally remote and it is also
one of the four ancient cities of Mauritania that are still inhabited.
Its unique beauty comes from its carved-stone buildings and its
sand dunes. Nouakchott is the capital of Mauritania. Although it
is a modern city we must visit it and experience the wonderful
colours of the evening seen from its fishing harbour.
of interesting places in the country goes on and on. We shall end
these lines by mentioning as a small sample the old districts of
the town of Kaedi, the ruins of Rachid, and Bogué,
a small town in a meander of the Senegal river with its teeming