It was my niece Vasudha who spiked my interest in the Dead Sea, Jordan when she heard that her masi (Aunt) was going. She read in her geography lesson that you could easily float in the Dead Sea. She was quite excited that I was visiting it. Of course she wanted to come but I gave her the ghisa pita (usual) answer, that her masi is not that rich and we will have to wait! I could go because I was invited by the Jordan Tourism Board. Before this conversation happened, I was only mildly interested in Dead Sea.
From the Amman Airport we straight headed to the Dead Sea which is 427 meters below the sea level. Our guide was explaining all this but to my sleep deprived self, it was simply not sinking in. However at the first site of the lake, yes Dead Sea is a lake, all my tiredness vanished. The sky was blue and so was the lake. Like a mirage in the distance I could see ‘floating’ white mountains.
We were staying at Holiday Inn which has its own beach. It was not too crowded in the morning. I almost ran to the beach and got into the water. Once I started floating it was difficult to stand up. It was as if the water was pushing you up and wanted to keep you horizontal. The Dead Sea water and mud is said to be full minerals which are good for the skin.
However let me warm you as the water is 9.6 times more salty than the sea, even a few drops in the eye or the mouth cause severe discomfort. I was lucky, I just got one drop in the eye once. Even that was stinging like mad but only for a few seconds. People who managed to splash it liberally would be seen running to the shower or the water can kept by the thoughtful lifeguards, to get it out of their mouths and eyes. So, you have been warned.
The Dead Sea mud pack is said to be very good for skin. They put it in pots at Holiday Inn next to the beach, you were free to pick it up and smear yourself liberally. And that is how I managed to click the Dead Sea alien selfie. There are even more horror inducing photos of mine but I will give it a pass for now. However, I was not alone.
The life guards at the resort were always happy to lend a hand if you wanted to get some mud art done at the Dead Sea, Jordan. This was a large group from Australia and I so loved their spirit of travel. They were loud, they didn’t care how they looked and they dragged each-other in water among other fun things. They knew how to have fun! I am so much more dull even when I might be 15 years younger to many of them!
Before going to a new destination, I usually Google it for images. I knew reading in the Dead Sea was an iconic picture! I initially planned to take a PG Wodehouse I was carrying but I was scared to soak it in the lake. After breakfast, I spotted an Arabic newspaper on the stands and I decided to risk it rather than the book. It was a good decision as when I got up, I soaked the newspaper thoroughly! That PG Wodehouse was a borrowed book too.
I hope one day and that too not in too distant future I will be able to take my brats to the Dead Sea, the only thing that scares me is that they will liberally get water in their eyes and mouth, so it is better to wait a while I guess. Oh and I need to save tons of money too!
PS. I am trying to pass off this post as Sky Watch Friday, the fun community of sky watchers! I agree this has a little less sky than my usual posts but you have to agree this was fun!