Tuesday, 12 January 2016



…………..   As it’s flat-out at the office!


As always the Christmas/New Year holiday period produced the usual high level of enquiries and bookings, leaving us with very little left on our 10 date 2016 Moroccan Tour scheduling. 

By Christmas we found ourselves down to just 4 tour dates with places available for 2016…………..Now there are just 3 dates left!!
The MARCH Tour is now CLOSED………
APRIL has just ONE vehicle place left……..
SEPTEMBER has only THREE vehicle places left…….
OCTOBER has just THREE vehicle places remaining…….
In the last blog posting, just over a week ago, I suggested that subject to demand we would consider a couple of additional dates……We did and they are now FULL. We may, and I stress may, be able to accommodate an additional NOVEMBER tour but for that and the aforementioned dates get in touch ASAP.
Whatever your plans and wherever your travels take you our British, Spanish and Moroccan staff at Desert Detours wish you a safe, healthy and exciting 2016……..


1st Mar ‘16

THE MOROCCAN “CLASSIC” TOUR Trans Riff-Atlas-Forest-Sahara-Atlantic Coast

1st April ‘16

THE MOROCCAN “CLASSIC” TOUR Trans Riff-Atlas-Forest-Sahara-Atlantic Coast


3rd SEPT ‘16

Trans Riff-Atlas-Forest-Sahara-Atlantic Coast


1st Oct ‘16

Trans Riff-Atlas-Forest-Sahara-Atlantic Coast




Whilst working on my “Moroccan Blog” I came across some interesting news items that are building up a momentum of interest.  Strange noises recorded over the last few days in a number of Moroccan cities. 
These bizarre and unfamiliar sounds have been heard across a number of Moroccan cities since the New Year and have left people wondering about its inexplicable nature. The odd sounds have been reportedly heard in Casablanca, Agadir as well as other Moroccan cities, shepherds and villagers are also submitting reports from rural areas.  
In the absence of a concrete scientific explanation, the strange noise/s, which have been recorded and posted on YouTube by many people, are prompting several theories, most of which are too far from human reasoning.
Interestingly these sounds, as well as being widespread, are heard both during the day and night. 
Some social media users have associated the occurrence with a religious explanation, claiming that “this is one of the signs of the end of the world.” Others went as far as saying that the sound came from “the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, (HAARP),” an important U.S. military defense program, which has generated quite a bit of controversy over the past years. The HAARP program is allegedly a ‘secret weapon’ used for weather modification and electromagnetic warfare.
Hoax or real………………You decide!


Considered one of the top destinations for travellers worldwide, Marrakech is associated with rich culture, artistry, entertainment, great nightlife, amazing cuisine, warm hospitality, and some of the most iconic locations in Morocco.
I stumbled on this old Pathe documentary [there are actually more than a few around for those interested] and thought I would share. What I found particularly interesting was the locations shown in the film and still recognizable…….. 
The 1948 documentary “Marrakech – Desert Paradise” was presented by Pathé Pictures and depicted the “Red City” in its mid-20th century. The documentary reflects the diversity of Marrakech’s expression of Berber, Moorish, Middle Eastern, with Mediterranean and Western Asian influences. Those that saw the Marrakech of the 1940s enjoyed the unique tastes of authentic Moroccan spices, full Muslim garb, opium pipes, where street shopping at the market place was the norm…….incredibly much has remained….you just need to explore a little.
Situated in the foot hills of the Atlas Mountains and founded by the Berber Almoravid dynasty in 1062 Marrakech was then just an oasis watering-hole, now it is undoubtedly the most famous, alluring and charismatic town in Morocco….. “Ochre City”, “The land of God” are just a couple of its many designations.  Winston Churchill, the legendary British politician, enjoyed his stays in the emblematic Mamounia Hotel, and many rejoiced in the lifestyle of the 1948 “Pearl of the South”.
Now the real spirit of the city, as it was in 1948, is its heart…..The Medina. This captivating documentary recounts the lifestyle of the Moroccan city and if you have visited recently look closely, past the men dressed in their traditional djellaba and the women who were only recognizable by their full-cover veils, you will see one or two familiar sights.  
Winston Churchill once said that Marrakech was “the most beautiful place on Earth.”………Many have found it to be true, as the saying goes “He who once sees Marrakech must always return.”


If the fashion pundits are to be believed, 2016 will be the year of the babouche. Yes, the famous Moroccan slipper is making another comeback [the last time was in the 17th century.] But if the image in your head is of the traditional yellow or white slippers, then think again.

Fashion firms say that the backless flat is the must-have shoe, cool and insouciant. Gucci introduced them last season, as a chic fur-lined leather loafer, and the trend has continued with Wang, Victoria Beckham, Opening Ceremony and Narciso Rodriguez jumping on the babouche bandwagon and offering their own twist on the style for their pre-fall collections.
The Céline version should set you back about £500 and will no doubt sell out, leaving the less well-off fashionistas searching for a cheaper, “more authentic” pair. 

But there is of course good news. You could buy the real thing, handmade even, in the markets and medinas of all the major and Imperial Cities……Meknes, Casablanca and Fez etc. for around £8. Or you could fly into Marrakech for a weekend stay in a classy Riad and buy your babouche…..and still be way ahead of the game!
Pedigree? The babouche has been crafted by Moroccan artisans and worn by Bedouins for more than a thousand years. They became very trendy in Paris during the 17th century. And the name babouche? The word comes from the Persian papus بابوش composed of pa (foot) and pus (cover). In France, from the XVI century when they were very popular, the name appears as papouch or babuc.
Even The Times in London has taken note of the babouche trend, albeit with a satirical piece...
Oi! Aladdin! Don’t you know panto season’s over, mate?  I beg your pardon? Are you talking to me? 
To you and your funny pointy shoes, yeah. Off to catch a ride on a magic carpet, are you? Honestly, the indignities I suffer in the name of aesthetics. These are not “funny, pointy shoes”, they are predicted to be the “shoe of 2016” by people who know a lot more about this sort of thing than you do.
I know an Aladdin shoe when I see one.

Then perhaps you’ll also know that this style of footwear is called a “babouche”? And that it originated in Morocco, thereby making your laboured Aladdin joke both geographically and politically incorrect.

You what?   and were resurrected in that very same city last year by the Céline designer and fashion oracle Phoebe Philo. Victoria Beckham’s done a pair too — it’s just a matter of minutes before they end up in Topshop.


And, if you think it is only the babouche that is in fashion, take time to check out Dolce & Gabbana's Luxury hijab collection.