Mauritania offers the extremes and beauty of the desert to travelers with a taste for adventure.
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Sitting by a tent in the vast, sun-bleached Mauritanian desert, 71-year-old Elisabeth Godin smiles, unconcerned about her safety despite warnings from her friends and family.After France eased its assessment of the security risk for the Adrar, a tiny number of French visitors are now returning, stirring hopes for the blighted local economy.Adrar, a region 400 kilometers northeast of the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott, once had had a small but thriving excursion business, offering the extremes and the beauty of the desert to European travelers with a taste for adventure.A total of 14 flights – supported by some 350,000 euros ($422,000) in subsidies by the Mauritanian government – have been scheduled until March 24 .The flights are already half-filled, with more than 1,000 visitors signed up, Point-Afrique Voyages said.The flights and growing trickle of visitors provide hope to the many guides, camel owners and hoteliers who have been unemployed, many of whom are the economic victims of terrorism.
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