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sunny 39 °C
View Benin, Togo and Cote, Ivory on curlygirl's travel map.


We arrived on time to Abidjan airport but had a pretty slow start to our trip. Alex only had the pre-approved e-visa so she had to wait in line for about 40 minutes to get the actual visa. After immigration, we decided we would get sim cards for our phones, in true West African style this was a painfully slow process and took about 45 minutes.

The heat and humidity continue.

We had pre-arranged a driver who we probably paid too much because we were promised a good air-conditioned car. Instead we got two guys (because even the simplest tasks involve more than one person), in a car that kept cutting out and who tried to charge us double. Of course, we did not pay double. The first clue should have been his chivalry, when he offered to carry Alex’s small rack instead of taking one or more of our bags.


Our hotel here is lovely but very expensive. About $300 Canadian a night. But West Africa is not cheap as you might expect given its economic state. It is nice to have some modern luxury in the middle of a trip like this but we head out tomorrow and although I have booked the top hotels, I expect it will be much less, money and services.

We hired a driver and guide for the afternoon. The guide turned out to be terrible. Nice but knew nothing (so much so, we didn’t pay him). The driver was amazing and he quickly understood what we were looking for. We ditched the museums, went to a quick shop in a market and then directly to a local market in Grand Bassam, a beautiful beach area and pre-1900, the capital of Cote D’Ivoire. We bought these lovely brass weights, that are little animals, that were once used to weigh gold.


The local market was bustling and we loved it. The textures and colours were amazing and the woman and children were happy to have photos taken. It was challenging because of the traffic and volume of people but I love some of my shots today. Of course, not everyone is friendly. The woman carrying their fish trays on their heads were amazing but unwilling to have a shot. Most men were not obliging at all. We learn that they believe most white people are French and they do not like the French. There is much bitterness about the past and they way they were treated under French colonization and perceive continued interference even today.


Tomorrow we fly north to Man.

Posted by curlygirl 23:26 Archived in Cote d'Ivoire Tagged cote d'ivoire

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As always, amazing shots! I love travelling vicariously through you!

by Susan G

I enjoy your market shots Shelley and that you ditch the museums in lieu of the local scene

by Agnes Penton

My dream is to travel like u travel

by Trudy

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