Float on

on the Jordanian side, looking out at Israel

I went to the Dead Sea today.  What an experience!

I went down with some friends, a friend of a friend is a Swedish diplomat and was here, in Amman, for my cousin’s wedding, he had a conference at a hotel on the Dead Sea and so we hitched a ride with him.  We purchased day passes and slowly made our way down to the pool.  We found one pool, chock full of children and so we decided to keep going.  We found another pool, much smaller but with a view of the Sea (see above) we got pool chairs set up and laid in the 44˚C (~114˚F) heat.  It felt amazing.  Dry and healing.

We took a swim in the pool, had some lunch and eventually made our way down to the dead sea.  I walked down the wooden dock, slipped my flip flops off and walked into the water.  The wood was slippery from all the salt.  I got in the water, expecting it to be really hot, but it was actually quite cool, about 24˚C (~75˚F).  Well, cool compared to the climate.  I immersed myself in the water and it felt as if there was a slimy layer of oil all over my body.  The water is so salty that you float!  Actually it is the deepest hypersaline lake in the world (thank you, wikipedia) with some 34% salinity.  I couldn’t really get in the water, my body bobbed to the surface.  What a feeling! What an unusual sensation.  I didn’t put my head in as I had heard about the water burning your eyes and face and I could even feel my mosquito bites burning from the salt and minerals.  I floated around rolling from my back to my stomach in the water.  We took turns photographing each other and after about ten minutes had had enough.  We rinsed off with fresh water, how refreshing, and made it back to lounge by the pool.  We did this for a couple more hours, taking dips in the pool to cool off, then dozing off in the shade of an umbrella, peering out towards Israel.

We eventually went back to the sea front.  We covered our bodies in mud from the dead sea, which is said to be full of minerals and great for the skin.  We covered our bodies and faces, scrubbing the black mud onto our skin.  We let it sit for some time and then floated in the water.  I have more pictures but there were taken with a friend’s camera, as soon as I receive them, I’ll post them so you can see the spectacle.

After rinsing off again, we laid around some more, swam a bit more, drank plenty of water and finally decided it was time to go.  Actually, the decision was made for us as one member of our party had to be at the airport to go home to London.

Our driver picked us up in the lobby and we drove to the airport, up, up, up, with our ears popping, you see the Dead Sea is the lowest elevation point on earth at 377m (1237 ft) below sea level (again, wikipedia works wonders). 

Not the best quality, but this is the sunset from the car + palm tree and in the foreground, we have the eye that wards off the evil eye…that’s for another post.

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