Bedouin & Breakfast

Slim Paley, Morocco


“I wish for all this to be marked on my body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography – to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience.” 
― Michael OndaatjeThe English Patient

Yes, that.

So we jumped at the opportunity to spend a sand-swept day and star-filled night in the wilds of the desert at the end our Moroccan adventure.

( it’s almost over…just 1 more post-after this one 🙂 )

890A7354We departed from our hotel located in the outskirts of the city of Ouarzazete by helicopter

890A7365a 50 minute journey over epic scenery

L1020995which we loved…albeit ever vigilant for potential emergency landing spots (see it?!)


890A7367Incredible to see how specks of verdant green popped up occasionally

L1030005and the lengths some people will go to to ‘unplug’


rtwgdWhile it’s true that my friend and I did ever so slightly miss the presence of Ralph…

842094 4

and couldn’t help but give Omar a thought

or two…

Sand peopleThe hotel camp had us covered!

Moroccan desert tentThe tents were amazing

Glamping, Moroccan desertCrisp white sheets, hot water bottles and a private loo. You can just imagine my happiness.

Gordon's gin, Slim Paley photoMore Happiness

(P.S. Gordon’s Gin people, please feel free to contact me for the photo :-))

Slim Paley, MoroccoSlim Sandy

890A7485‘The desert could not be claimed or owned—it was a piece of cloth carried by winds, never held down by stones’

from The English Patient.

L1150138Tagine served from a huge earthenware pot


L1030076What we listened to under the canopy of a billion stars?

“Us & Them” from Dark Side of the Moon of course!

(click for mandatory listening please!)

and as I’ve learned through experience, there’s something quite magical about watching an old movie while tucked in a tent in the middle of nowhere, I brought my newest old favourite;

The Rains Came

“The Rains Came”

With no irony.

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 8.14.44 PMDawn in the desert

sunrise in the desertA peacefulness one can’t describe

Moroccan desert sunrise

890A7489Strike a pose

Sunrise in the desert

Bedouins_John_Singer_SargentJohn Singer Sargent’s Bedouins

breakfast in the Moroccan desert, Slim PaleyBedouin Breakfast


a little sand kicking up??

IMG_3558 copyno problem for my ever resourceful, quick thinking friend who manages to eat breakfast, play DJ and start a new style trend at the same time.

Moroccan desert“Ralph…Ralph…We’re here for you…”


Bedouin watercolours, John SInger SargentThe John Singer Sargent exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum  is on now through July 28th

Our desert sojourn was organized by Maison Des Reves


and have a splendid weekend!





  1. How fabulous. I truly admire your sense of adventure. And, of course, your sense of style 🙂 I can’t imagine a better experience.

  2. Slim your life is a dream come true. Your adventures could come straight out of a Hemingway Novel.
    The blessing to experience all this and make memories to last a lifetime and beyond.
    Art by Karena

  3. Just love your photographs, sense of adventure, wild and exotic places to learn about, luxury in the best way and then a glass of gin and tonic to top it off. I tip my djellabas top off to you! Bravo

  4. Incredible. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to your posts. I can’t even begin to imagine the places you have seen !! Regards, Wenda S.

  5. Wow! You covered everything,from the catchy title to John SS,from mother nature to modern-day Ralph. Thank you for taking us with you,you are truly THE BEST.

  6. Awesome, awesome Slim, so inspiring, just the idea of it, is just amazing and to experience that must be truly amazing, thanks for taking us with you! I am definetly going to that Exhibit at the Brooklyn Musuem! Thanks, Noelle

  7. You and your friend look like the lone ranger and Tonto in the middle of the dessert. I would love the honest to goodness silence of the night. It sounds like the trip of a lifetime.

  8. Splendid. Thanks for sharing these fantastic photos (from all the posts) and even more for inspiring me to be a little more adventurous in my travels! (Does Falconry count?) xx

  9. Oh sigh – how divine – love your photos. Only you forgot to mention Peter O’Toole as Lawrence of Arabia – he was my first desert idol !!

  10. I have never commented before… you and your friend are amazing travellers….your photos are fabulous! I want to go to the desert now and I’m jealous; you’re two are so adventerous! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Fabulous!!! Brings back memories of traveling through the desert, but no I did not spend the night. Beautiful photos Slim, In my next life I want to be you!!!

  12. Amazing! Thank you for sharing your adventures- how do you choose your destinations? You and your friend are so intrepid, (yes?)- do you long for home? Or do you view it as the chance of a lifetime to experience these amazing places? In any event, thank you for taking us along. I love that your friend packed her jam box!

    • I love being home, but also jump at the chance to travel to exotic locales whenever I can. I blame it on all the wonderful places books took me as a child!

  13. I love the photo of you in the desert with a crustini and cocktail. The way it should be done. I feel you must be resting before your search of the Ark of the Covenant.

  14. Your photos are like something out of a dream. Thank you. Have you read The Sheltering Sky, by Paul Bowles? A favorite of mine! Next time you’re in the desert, or longing to be back there, you might want to read it, the book is far better than the movie, imho!!

    • Yes Lisa, and reread it last year after reading a Jane & Paul Bowles biography. Have not seen the movie though.

  15. I am one of those people who could never afford such adventures but I am so grateful to you for sharing them. In a way, I get to live them through you so thanks for taking me along!!!

  16. only one more post on this? I’m not tired of them yet! I’ve always wanted to go there, so I’m loving your pictures!
    Us and Them…perfect…

  17. Seriously Slim darling what do you or your husband do for a living? Do you realize you are the luckiest person on earth? You are truly blessed with the luxury of creativity! xo

  18. This is now my favorite Slim post. Your photographs are amazing. I feel as if I just took a 5 minute journey. I would imagine, that this must of been a spiritual experience. I will add this to the top of my list of things to do in Morocco. Looking forward to your next post.

  19. This is AMAZING! First off English Patient is one of my all time favorite movies..anyone who knows me knows this well! Ahhhh Ralph in that movie was incredible….forget sweeping Kristin Scott Thomas off her feet, he swept ME off my feet!! Love that movie…your pictures are incredible. What a once in a lifetime adventure….I love your spirit and sense of adventure, its very admirable!! That will keep you young for a loooong time so keep on travelin’! I would want to turn every one of these pictures into a poster! Thanks for sharing……

  20. My long winded comment just got eaten up…boo hoo! LOVE this post. LOVE THE ENGLISH PATIENT, anyone who knows me knows this is one of my all time favorite movies. Not only did Ralph sweep Kristin Scott Thomas off her feet, he swept me off mine too!!
    Your photos are out of this world..I would want to enlarge each and every one and put them as posters in every room in my home! Spectacular…what an adventure. I love your sense and spirit of adventure, its very admirable and will keep you young for a looooong time! (good Gin helps too)! Thanks for sharing……

  21. Why I wasn’t on that trip, I’ll never know. What a glorious time!! You look so pretty in the picture with the gin…Desert Chic!

  22. What? Really? OMG!!! What beauty both you and the scenery. Thank you so much for sharing this as it inspires me to think about traveling someday, somewhere exotic like this. Oh yes, Ralph…pronounced Rayph 🙂

  23. Great….now I’m going to have to rent “English Patient” AGAIN – it just stirs my soul…as does your blog. (and I’m going to listen to “Mr Sandman Bring Me a Dream..Ralph” franki

  24. Such a gorgeous post that light those colors what the…I’m sick with jealousy (well just a smidge). Louis Brumfield is amazing his Malabar Farm is a dear favorite of mine. You must visit it if your ever in that area.

  25. Simply living vicariously through you…I didn’t have to pack, saved money, better photos than I could ever take…and I look so beautiful in the pictures 🙂 Where am I going next?

  26. Dear, Slim

    I have been reading your blog for a few years now and I have to say this was one of my favourite posts! I was in Morraco about 10 years ago and had a very negative experience and pretty much wrote off ever returning there but your post showed it to me in a new light, a beautiful peaceful place that deserves another chance. Thank you for this post!
    I always enjoy traveling along with you via your blog but this one really spoke to me.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us all…. Please keep it up.
    Warmest regards,

  27. Slim Sandy, you’re fabulous !! thank you for this amazing breakfast in the sand dunes…and yes a bit of Ralph too…
    I love your sense of travel. To tell the truth, I had a crush on the brain behind Maison des rêves, Thierry Teyssier…everything he does and organizes is plain wonderful….well just like you ! x Lala

  28. Slim, It is a real pleasure to see the beauty that is your own good-self included among the other objects of beauty in your posts lately. You are a beautiful treasure who should be photographed–often. Thank you. (The Rains Came is one of my favorite books!)

  29. Isn’t Morocco amazing! So funny, but we were driving near Ouarzazete just yesterday with our son (he’s living here as a Peace Corps volunteer) and several of his Moroccan friends. The scenery is overwhelming. We walked through the oasis in Kelaatmgouna, which is known for its roses — they smell heavenly! And, because my son has many friends here, we have eaten in Moroccan homes every day of our visit. Salaam!

    • Judith and Slim, I am really enjoying reading your posts on your adventures in Morocco this winter/spring: two very different trips, with some interesting points of convergence. Maybe you two should collaborate on the next voyage (I vote for Timbuktu)!

    • Wishing you a wonderful holiday with your son Judith and bless him for being a Peace Corp volunteer! Salaam!!

  30. Dear Slim
    Can think of nothing but superlatives for these sensitive, stunning images: the rugged isolation and bare minimalism of the cliffs and ranges combined with the endless waves of desert sands – and the romance of the glowing candles and ruby rugs at night. The combinations and contrasts of the luxe and richness wtih the the isolation and spareness of the desert. All enlivened by the gift of humour and your references to a brilliant movie and fascinating paintings. What a magical experience it must have been! This has to be one of the best posts. Would really love to see more. Best wishes, Pamela

  31. Such travel with style Slim…………looking gorgeous while doing it which I think is no small travel feat while in the desert no less. My all-time favourite movie (English patient) too which is hotly disputed by many of my friends so happy to hear I am not the only one. Great pics, thanks for sharing. xx

  32. You weave such fabulous stories with your words and your pictures; feels almost as if we were there with you! I’d love to see more – no worries about it being too much. I would LOVE to see the stars in the desert night sky.

  33. Your wonderful photography is such a joy to look at, and of course you always seem to be perfectly dressed for every occasion!! Some advice please, please. I am traveling to Paris, Scotland and London at the end of June. What do I wear???? You are a seasoned traveler…..what shoes can I walk forever in and that are not hideous??? What are basic staples that I need?? I am panicking. Does anyone have some fabulous information they wouldn’t mind sharing. Your blog makes me want to travel more. I wish I had your packing skills.

    • Keep your eye on my “Travel” tab in the near future Susan. In the meantime, I suggest “Arche” shoes for hours of walking without crying. They’re not exactly Louboutins but they’re not orthopaedic looking either. Wishing you a fantastic, blister-free trip!

      • I second the “Arche” recommendation. Years ago, I wore a pair of their shoes in comfort for 19 days of walking in European cities and countryside. They were attractive, low-heeled, long lasting and more comfortable than any shoes I’ve had (except for my ancient hiking boots).

      • Another Arche fan! They also have wonderful sandals too in great colours and so good for walking. Will be in Paris again in a few weeks and one of my early ports of call will be an Arche shop! Pamela

    • Visit the blog: Vivienne Files
      Great for packing info and life changing in terms of getting a handle on your wardrobe in general. Highly recommended reading. Enjoy your trip!

  34. You are the most totally rockin’ woman, Slim Paley…open to all adventures! It looks like you have two photos of yourself
    (one, in blue dress and two, your opening photo of you on the dunes) that really must be framed. Just breathtaking photos you share here…would have agreed about Ralph until he had the unfortunate airplane incident with the
    stewardess…lost respect for the man, but he’s a great actor.

  35. Slim, Too wonderful for words and the music is perfection. Your black dress or skirt is so lovely you are like a modern day Millicent Rogers. No unisex shorts and Keens on this blog and I love it! Looking forward to the last post.
    Have a great weekend!


  36. Your desert outing looks out of this world and you have done it justice with this post (right down to the mandatory listening)! Thank you for sharing.

  37. Ah, Slim. A little piece of sandy heaven on earth. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m lamenting the fact that there is only one more Moroccan post- surely you can squeeze out another? Maybe the outtakes?

  38. well your fashionista friend is impressed, i’m known for overdressing but you out did us all, who would have thought to wear a long skirt, belt n necklace for a bedouin cocktail, fabouloso! I would have packed khakis and a silk shirt to billow in the wind, but you ALWAYS look just right! i know you were thinking Ralph Fiennes but I was thinking Ralph Lauren

  39. Hi, my sweet friend!

    I have been too busy, but I’m starting to get back to normal and I’ll try to visit you more often. Your posts always make me go far away from reality and dream…

    Some of these photos brought tears to my eyes (is that time of the month yet??? LOL). I felt so emotional with the beauty of the space, with its quietness and energy. You could capture that.

    Thank you for sharing your gifts with us, C.

    Lots of love to you!

    Luciane at

  40. I have two (probably dumb) questions – 1.) Does this experience cost a bajillion dollars? And 2.) was it…hot? Because you look most comfortable.

    • Yes and no! lol. Actually, not a bajillion, but it’s not inexpensive. A very special treat!

  41. How did you set up this adventure? What is the name of the company that set up the night in this tent for you? Thanks

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