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Dec 02 2012

Rissani Market

As we headed from Merzouga – where we spent a very relaxing few days – we heard about the market in Rissani.  It is held 3 times a week (Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday) and is a meeting place of traders, Berbers, Nomads who converge on the town to trade their wares.  A must see – so we saw.

After parking our car, we were immediately greeted by someone who wanted to be our guide and show us the market.  Normally, we wouldn’t bother (we feel quite at home doing our food shopping in markets) but thought this time it would be worth the 20 dirham cost (about 2 euros).  Off we went.

First up, we were taken across to see the animal markets.  The donkey market was rather quiet – only activity was where the donkeys were ‘parked’ for the day at a cost of 1 dirham and guarded by a parking attendant.  Prices ranged from 700 dirhams to 1200 dirhams – quality dependant of course.

Next up was the cattle market.  The market is depressed at the moment as cattle feed is expensive due to low rainfall.  So while you can bargain a good deal the animal (a mere 4,000 dirhams) you’ll likely lose out when trying to feed the poor creature.  They did all look a bit on the thin side – hip bones sticking out.  There wasn’t that much on offer and it was rather quiet.

Lastly, we ventured into the sheep market.  This market was certainly active.  There was a constant flow of people bringing their animals into the market – from an individual sheep carried in a box on the back of a bicycle, to a small flock of sheep and their lambs.  Prices ranged from 700-1000 – again dependant on the quality.  We watched for a bit before moving on.  No purchases for us.

Then, off to buy provisions – the fruit and vegetables were some of the best looking we have seen in a while.  We managed to stock up on what we wanted – despite the guide seemingly heading us towards his favourite sellers (who may or may not have had what we needed).

Buying meat is always an experience.  I have to confess, I do enjoy my beef and chicken, but in Morocco, you need a strong stomach to purchase!  The beef is cut from a leg hanging over the counter – and although it is clean and has been kept in a fridge, I have taken some adjusting.  Chicken is sold similarly:  we normally buy a whole chicken (dead, plucked and without head and feet) and have the butcher chop it up into pieces we can use!

We were taken through the spice market: very educational, and the store owner took time to explain the different spice mixes and what they are typically used for.

Lastly, we were taken to the obligatory carpet seller!  We were pretty relaxed by this stage, and the gentleman must have realised we weren’t likely to buy.  He was very informative as he showed us the different types of carpets typical to the different ‘tribes’ in Morocco.  They were absolutely beautiful.

And after a few hours, we were guided back to our car.  Safe and sound.

In hindsight, we could have made the purchases ourselves, but we learned so much from having a guide that we are glad we made the effort.

(Please head over to the Photography page for photos from Rissani Market)

5 comments

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  1. Vic

    Sounds absolutely wonderful.. Yup, you get guides and then you get guides.. But glad you had a good time.. Take care of yourselves!
    The Dorset Crew

  2. Phil & Jackie

    Great blog guys, it sounds fascinating right enough…can’t wait ;)
    Take care…above all have fun!
    Cheers,
    Falklands Phil & South African Jackie

    1. African GirlChild

      Glad you are enjoying! Hope you are picking up lots of tips yourselves ;)

  3. Margaret (gemini)

    You make me so jealous Sheelagh ! The way you are travelling is MY way – spending time seeing and learning and soaking in atmosphere. I could never have done a ‘tick list ‘ journey from a – b as quickly as possible or within time limits.

    Travel safely, love Margaret

    1. African GirlChild

      Yes, in Morocco we have the luxury of time on our hands – and we are making the best of it! Not sure if we’ll be quite so lucky to spend 2 months in every country along the way!!

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