Lafiabougou Market, Mali, November 3, 2007
Trip Start Sep 19, 2007
85Trip End Jan 05, 2008
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The best part, though, was the men's work, the cattle market, where herders were selling their long-horned cattle, keeping them huddled in circles for a while until a sale was made. Once the cattle were sold, they were chased (stampeded it sometimes felt like) into the purchaser's metal-fenced enclosures, apparently to be taken for slaughter
The men were all friendly and (unlike the market women) didn't mind having their pictures taken, too busy with the work at hand to take much notice of a couple pesky white tourists armed with cameras who wandered in. I got to talking with a Fulani man who spoke some English who told me the cattle were mostly eight years old at time of sale for slaughter. No wonder the meat here is all so tough!
After a while I realized I was in a slightly dangerous place because of all those rather wild cattle breaking loose, running around, and being stampeded into pens. And some of those horns looked really sharp too! The cattle market experience at Lafiabougou was one of those that made me realize more than most others how true Dragoman's slogan, "It's no ordinary holiday," really is. With what other tour company could I make an unplanned stop at a working cattle market deep in Africa's interior where I'd be chatting with turbaned tribesmen and dashing out of the path of stampeding herds of long-horned cattle?