Work kept me on an additional day and it occurred to me that if I timed things just right, I could possibly make a quick dash across to Boubon and its Wednesday market day.
Well I did time things just right for a little past 1pm found me back on the road heading towards the village - but what a different day it is today! The blue skies of Monday replaced with that dull grey of a dust filled sub-saharan sky as the Harmattan blows dust across the region.
Alighting at the markets edge I stepped right into the area where live stock is bought and sold, not only as a source of food but as wealth too. In this part of the region goats and cattle dominate with donkeys used as beasts of burden for for short range hauls.
The dust, the smell of the animals, the muted voices as they haggle over price - a goat in it's prime was up for XOF 35,000 about US$ 70/-, I dared not ask how much a cow was!
From there my feet lead me to the market place proper to feast my eyes upon mound of pumpkins, dried chillies, spices, onions, grains, tin food, shoes, clothes materials, slippers, ironmongery, coconuts from Cote D' Ivoir, green tea from China and black tea from Ceylon.
As I strolled lost in the moment I came across a maker of calabash bowls, turning out beautiful spoons, jugs and bowls out of Bottle gourds. Squatting down I was treated to a demonstration of he's dexterity as he held a bowl between hand and toe working on it putting the finishing touches.
Boubon market plays a significant role to al the villages in a 50km radius, in spite of the fact that Nimaey lies a mere 25m away. By the river side I found giant pirogues, big brother to the one I rode on Monday, these able to carry 50 people at a time, coming from villages 35km and more up stream with produce to go back filled with provisions for another week.
My trip to Niger has certainly been a eventful one and as I tap these words down I'm wondering where next...
More pics on flickr