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19 July 2019 / leggypeggy

Let’s go shopping—the Ivory Coast

Nassian market, Ivory CoastNassian market, Ivory Coast

In the comments on my last post, fellow blogger Sharon Bonin-Pratt asked what we ate most of the time on this most recent African trip.

Overland travel and camping in Africa means we were almost always shopping in local markets (proper supermarkets are rare outside the big cities in West Africa).

Generally, the markets have tinned goods and fresh items that are in season and abundant. In all our African travels—now and 10 years ago—the most widely available fresh ingredients have been tomatoes, onions and eggs, eggs and more eggs.

You don’t want to know how many eggs I’ve eaten over the three months of this trip. Oh okay, I’ll confess. We usually bought eggs in trays of 30 and usually bought two trays a day—for just over 20 people.

Nassian was an exception—they didn’t have any eggs. This village was our first food shop in the Ivory Coast. Luckily it wasn’t my group’s turn to shop and cook, so I was free to tag along and take photographs. Frankly, I love markets and could bore you with pics of every market I’ve ever visited.

The Nassian market was quite basic, but still sold an array of food, clothes, tools, toiletries, fabric, towels, fans, luggage and more. Potatoes were on sale, which was rare at this time of year. Two local fellows even bought a live goat.

Nassian market, Ivory Coast

Carrying a goat

Goats to market, Nassian market, Ivory Coast

Goats to market

Orange shop, Nassian market, Ivory Coast

I was delighted to see an Orange phone shop across the road from the market. I bought one of their SIM cards in Bondoukou when we first entered the country, but I ran out of time to get in activated—too many people in the queue in front of me. So after photographing the Nassian market, I made a beeline to the fellow sitting out the front.

He didn’t understand any of my French or even any of my charades trying to explain what I needed. Turned out he didn’t work there and was just sitting in the shade of the large umbrella. I suppose he spoke the local language, but not French. As it turned out, I never managed to activate the SIM for the Ivory Coast.

Most of the pics don’t have captions, but you’ll see what’s going on.

P.S. Do you ever have the good fortune to shop in a local/farmer’s market?Nassian market, Ivory Coast

Nassian market, Ivory Coast

Weighing potatoes


Leave a Comment
  1. beetleypete / Jul 19 2019 9:59 pm

    That looks like nice produce, Peggy. And the machetes might come in handy on a trip like yours too. 🙂
    I think the most impressive market I have ever seen is in Barcelona, off La Rambla.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. ralietravels / Jul 19 2019 10:43 pm

    We have enjoyed seeing many local markets in Europe and South America but I’ve not been to Africa [Alie has] and neither of us has shopped for our daily meals. That takes what is often a colorful experience to a new level. Thanks as always for taking us along on your Africa adventure(s),

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 19 2019 10:56 pm

      Thanks so much for travelling along with me. Glad you have seen some great markets.


  3. Derrick / Jul 19 2019 10:48 pm

    I can remember seeing bales of clothing being unloaded, they were from charities all over the UK, I even saw a fluorescent jacket from BAA security, it was a rain proof hi vis jacket (the would see you from miles away in that)

    I know they need clothing out there but this has a knock on effect, it’s affecting the manufacture of traditional clothes, you don’t see it very often in some places

    When they opened it up it was like the worlds biggest jumble sale (I don’t know if it was for sale or just given away) there was a scramble for shirts, trousers, dresses and bra’s (must be a shortage of decent underwear for women)

    I can remember carrots, I think we had carrots with every meal (ever tried fried rice with carrots?)

    Markets are great places to take photos, everyone wants to be in them, more so the kids

    Sometimes just walking around a market was better than seeing the town, I found a place, meat on a stick, no idea what meat it was but it was done on a bbq, they even bought out a log for me to sit on
    I can’t recommend the coffee though 😦

    Thanks for the photos Peggy

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 19 2019 10:59 pm

      Sadly, charity clothing has knocked out the fabric market in much of Africa. I remember seeing a girl in Burma wearing a fast food uniform, and a man in Mali wearing a discount store vest.

      But I don’t remember any carrots on this trip.


      • Derrick / Jul 19 2019 11:16 pm

        Everywhere we went there were carrots, but no tomatoes or potatoes, I know very strange)

        Sometimes they had a choice, with their produce eat it or sell it,

        Dome makers had very little I them

        Charity shops in the UK just take the good stuff to sell, they keep it a month then it gets to a recycled centre, they sort it, some goes to recycling, but a lot is made into bales to be sent to 3rd world countries

        You do see some strange mixtures of clothing out there,

        Who buys second hand trainers and underwear?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Eliza Ayres / Jul 19 2019 11:05 pm

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. fragglerocking / Jul 19 2019 11:33 pm

    Great photos, that market looks fun!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. lexklein / Jul 19 2019 11:47 pm

    Markets are always great photo opps! I was struck by how beautifully dressed the woman weighing potatoes is!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 20 2019 7:54 am

      She really is stylish. I really must do a post on the fashion in Africa. Such wonderful clothes and colours.


  7. dfolstad58 / Jul 20 2019 1:44 am

    I enjoy our farmer market but go seldom.
    I liked the bright clothing colours and I would have enjoyed people watching.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Gilda Baxter / Jul 20 2019 2:15 am

    I love visiting markets everywhere we go. This one looks very colorful and the tomatoes super plumy. Are they taking the goat to be slaughtered or did someone buy a whole goat? Always fascinating to people watch on a local market.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. susan@onesmallwalk / Jul 20 2019 2:18 am

    LeggyPeggy – there’s always so much local flavor in the markets you post. Being able to visit such locally-normal places has got to be one of the truly best reasons for traveling, don’t you think? Cheers – Susan

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 20 2019 7:58 am

      I agree completely, Susan. Markets are where you get a taste of day-to-day life.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Phyllis Gaetz / Jul 20 2019 7:18 am

    I love taking pictures of markets too. So colourful! The spices in Morocco stand out in my mind. In Costa Rica I found a fruit called soursop or guanobana. It was huge the size of a football and tasted like kiwi and strawberries mixed together. A surfer on the beach said it was a superfood and all the surfers ate it. I think the fruits are the most interesting of all. They can be like cheese where they look awful, smell awful but taste delicious so you should always try! Lol

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 20 2019 8:01 am

      Yes, you should always try. When I see a food I don’t recognise, I ask whether it’s edible and, if yes, whether it’s better cook or raw. For some reason, I’ve always been able to figure out the answers even if I haven’t known the language.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Phil Huston / Jul 20 2019 9:18 am

    The guy in front of the tent is a classic. After however long explaining it’s “Havnazday” and a gap toothed smile. The same thing can happen in Louisiana…
    What strikes me most is all the colorful stuff. And it’s a good thing you IDed the eggplants because I was about to say “Wow, that’s some big garlic.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 20 2019 3:56 pm

      I’ll remember that when I’m next in Louisiana. I agree, those eggplants are deceiving. And all the colour is wonderful.


  12. Lynette d'Arty-Cross / Jul 20 2019 9:40 am

    We have a fabulous market (actually, a number of them) here in the Okanagan Valley, and there’s wine, too! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Vicki / Jul 20 2019 11:03 am

    I love markets as much as you do, Peggy. Love your photos of the various goods on sale.

    I’ve had access to many markets in all 3 sides of the city (I’ve lived in), but it used to be the organic stalls that took my fancy in the past. I keep imagining all that goodness and lovely flavour when I do a big shop in an organic market stall. There are no organic shops near me now and I miss them. Love the Asian market in the next suburb to mine, but rarely buy much as I don’t know how to cook half of their goods. I am a regular at the ‘nut/seed’ shop though.

    My neighbour used to take me to several fresh food markets when I lived on the south-east side of the city (after I sold my car). My previous apartment on the north-east side of the city, was only a short walk away from a ‘real’ farmer’s market, including a smoked trout and caviar stall.

    …..and in Europe, on our 9 week camping tour in 1978, our bus group would take it in turns to go with the ‘cook’ to the local markets wherever we stopped for the night. Sorry to say, I just can’t remember going out shopping with the cook. Sad to say my memory is very poor these days and I can barely remember what day of the week it is. I am addicted to cooking shows on TV especially when they shop in European or Asian markets.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 20 2019 4:03 pm

      Oh wow, a smoked trout and caviar stall! That’s a bit of heaven.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vicki / Jul 21 2019 10:54 pm

        I bought a smoked trout and it was delicious, but the caviar was a bit pricey for my purse.


      • leggypeggy / Jul 22 2019 7:28 am

        Bit pricey for mine too.


  14. paolsoren / Jul 20 2019 5:54 pm

    Yep, Peggy. Farmers Markets are all the go here in Victoria. They are worth the effort.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 20 2019 8:09 pm

      So worth the effort. I love being able to buy local produce.


  15. Emma Cownie / Jul 20 2019 6:47 pm

    Dear Peggy, I could look at your photos of markets all day long, they are so colourful and full of abundant life!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. a mindful traveler / Jul 20 2019 8:00 pm

    Does that mean lot’s of omelettes for you guys as there is an abundance of eggs Peggy ?

    Liked by 2 people

  17. derrickjknight / Jul 20 2019 8:20 pm

    Splendid results from a photographer’s paradise. We have such a good farm shop that we don’t explore the farmers’ markets

    Liked by 2 people

  18. gerard oosterman / Jul 21 2019 4:30 pm

    Great photos, Peggy. I hope the usual Big Maccas, Gloria Jeans etc will stay away rom the countries you visited. Local markets are part of the joys visiting countries.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 21 2019 7:12 pm

      Thanks Gerard. Like you, I hope the big chains can be kept at bay.


  19. kunstkitchen / Jul 22 2019 7:51 am

    Aren’t open markets just the best? Nice photos of the people and the goings on in a distant land. Always fun to see your travels.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. ortensia / Jul 23 2019 5:29 pm

    What a marvelous catch up on your African adventures 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  21. rozinaspersiankitchen / Jul 23 2019 9:11 pm

    Hi, i did enjoy your post. it is very enjoyable.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. chattykerry / Jul 25 2019 12:30 am

    Loved the idea of you talking to the guy who wasn’t even working there! The colors looks so vivid. The guys with the goat looked so happy. It reminds me of the live butcher shop right across from our villa in Cairo. The rabbits were always silent…

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 25 2019 8:41 am

      I love all the colour in African markets. Those guys with the goat were so happy to pose. I have four pics of them, but I bet the goat wasn’t happy. Your Egyptian rabbits probably weren’t either.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. CarolCooks2 / Jul 25 2019 9:35 am

    Show me where there is a good market anyday… I love a local market and you can buy almost anything.. Here it is not quite as basic as where you have visited but European food is either non existant, expensive or one day you see it and then not again for 6 months,, but eggs like where you are.. Everywhere and sold in all different ways and colours… A lovely post… 😊Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 25 2019 8:17 pm

      Thanks so much. I love the roller coaster of availability in Africa. Really a seasonal existence.


      • CarolCooks2 / Jul 25 2019 8:24 pm

        Much the same here in many ways… But as it should be

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Jul 25 2019 8:28 pm

        It means we can almost always buy only the best.


  24. Nancy / Jul 25 2019 10:32 am

    I have a few friends that live in Africa – The Ivory Coast, Togo, Uganda, and Ghana. During a missions convention at a church, I attended when I live up north. They brought me handmade gifts – baskets, purses, and some kind of material used to form the shape of Africa with Coca-cola fragments outlining it. The photos you took of the young men are poignant; the markets so colorful and creative. How blessed you are to have these experiences and take me along on your journeys! ❤ and missed you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 25 2019 8:20 pm

      Oh Nancy, it’s wonderful to see you posting. Great to know you have some contact with my beloved Africa. I haven’t collected many souvenirs from the continent, but I love the ones I have. Too much fabric.


  25. barkinginthedark / Jul 27 2019 12:54 pm

    markets are the the best. eggs tomorrow? continue…

    Liked by 2 people

  26. jeanleesworld / Jul 27 2019 9:08 pm

    Did you ever get the card activated? 🙂 I’ve been eating eggs every day since the Whole30 saga, and I still enjoy them. It’s such an easy way to get some good protein, and for you guys on your trip it wouldn’t be too expensive! I can only imagine meat adds up fast.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 27 2019 9:40 pm

      I never managed to get the Ivory Coast card activated, but I did get the Sengalese one done—after much angst. Eggs are great protein, and one that I enjoy often.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Lisa Dorenfest / Jul 27 2019 10:08 pm

    I love markets too and enjoy the opportunity to shop in them. We typically spend six months of our sailing seasons in places that have only markets like those you’ve experienced here. When we return to ‘our everyday’ in big cities, we find ourselves both giddy and overwhelmed with choice. Gorgeous snaps

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 27 2019 10:10 pm

      You make a great point. I don’t do very well with overwhelming choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. afterthelasttime / Sep 20 2019 4:27 am

    The bright blue dress the woman is wearing while weighing potatoes is beautiful, I wish she’d looked up as you took her photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2019 11:47 am

      The dress is gorgeous and, yes, it would be nice to see her face, but she is so focused on her work.


  29. milliethom / Aug 27 2020 10:03 pm

    I’ve been to lots of markets, too, but nowhere near as many as you, Peggy. This one is wonderfully colourful – but no doubt you were a little upset that they didn’t sell eggs! Lol Having so many of the things during your trip either made you the most imaginative cook ever born, or simply sick to death of eating omelettes with fillings of fried onions and tomatoes. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 22 2020 7:53 am

      Sorry I missed this comment. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of fried onions, eggs and tomatoes. Pasta and tuna did wear thin.


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