Saturday, February 28, 2015

Israel: Dead Man's Float

After visiting Masada, we drove to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth.

 We were expecting a beach. We brought snacks. We brought towels. We brought sunglasses and cameras. We couldn't wait to float unaided! But when we got there, we realized we had to descend this to get to the water.

I really, really wanted to find a way to get in the Dead Sea. Though it was not my highest trip priority, it was something I wanted to do. I wanted to touch the salt-encrusted rocks and float in the famous sea which contains no living thing. The sand and dirt (pictured above) just slid down with the slightest movement. So, the kids just squatted down, got their swimsuits and faces full of dirt, received a few scrapes and nicks, and got down to the water. Coming down with my cast on was nearly impossible, for I couldn't balance on it. The dirt, with my bulky cast on, made me slip everytime. But without the cast, my foot was so tender, it wasn't stable enough to let me walk on it. Finally, I sat and scooted and slid as close as possible, took off my cast, and crawled the rest of the way. (CC helped immensely, but the dirt just took us both down when he offered me his arm for help.)

We read all the warnings. Don't splash. Don't rub your eye if you get water in it. Don't go to the bathroom. Ouch!

It's all smiles til a salt water drop pierces your eye!

It was strange to all of us. Even when following all the warnings, the salt and mineral content was so high, it made places on our bodies sting. 

We read to just lie back, ease into the water, like you'd sit in an easy chair.

And sure enough, the kids popped right up.

It felt so strange to float like this, unlike the float you "achieve" in a pool. It took serious effort to be still enough not to splash because your body felt out of control.

Finally, I made it in! And this would be the last time I saw this lovely right croc. Somehow with the climb back up, my cast, kids crying from stings and salty eyes, etc. the right croc stayed behind at the Dead Sea.

Getting in was hard for me. Getting out was hard for all of us. We were slimy (yes) with salt. Getting back up that landslide was nearly impossible. I had to do it with the cast on; it hurt too much to try it without. So I took home a castful of Dead Sea sand and dirt. CC sent us all to the showers, gladly paying the shekel to get the grime off. We greatly anticipated the shower! Warm water, fresh, non-salty water! But the shower was ice cold, in full view of everyone else (same gender) in the shower room, and sandy/dirty/gritty everywhere. Perhaps I left the croc there; I was a little dumbfounded with group showering.

It was a beautiful place, and I am so glad we went. It is said that the Queen of Sheba preferred this place over all for her beauty treatments. As we drove away, wiping off the grime, CC said, "She can have it!" As difficult as it was to get in, my skin did feel like a baby's for a couple of weeks!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was interesting, to say the least. I had heard of all this. I know my mother also visited the Dead Sea at a spot easier to get in but she did not get in. She is not into mud and grime . . . Which is what it was like at her particular location - very muddy. I have heard the minerals are awesome. Evidently, from your experience, that must be true. That was definitely an adventure!!

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