Friday, December 16, 2011

Jordan Visit - Part IV: Foating in the Dead Sea

My last installment of our trip to Jordan takes us to the Dead Sea. For those unfamiliar, the Dead Sea is at the lowest elevation on the planet and the Sea is ... well, dead. Meaning it has no fish or other living critters, just a few very hardy plants that can survive the approximately 30% salt content. It's that salt content that makes the place famous, that and the mud that's supposed to have healing properties. The mud, as you might imagine, is pimped out all over Jordan and found in every beauty product for sale in the region. Important to note that most of the products say, "contains minerals found in the Dead Sea" meaning they've infused the stuff with like minerals, but probably haven't actually used any of the mud from the sea. I know, we're all just trying to make a buck.

We stayed at the Marriott which is right on the Dead Sea and has a beautiful pool as well as access to the beach and the Dead Sea itself. We checked in, donned our suits and headed to the beach to see what the hype was all about.

Prior to arriving, I found a website with  some tips so we already knew we should wear water shoes (as the bottom is rough due to the salt and can really cut up your feet). We were also told to bring an older suit as the high salt content can mess with the colors in your clothes. And finally, we were told over and over not to put our faces in the water or try to actually swim. Because you float so easily, if you try to swim on your stomach, your head will dip under the water because your head is heavier than your feet. Well, I didn't have to be told twice, my plan was to keep my head out of the salty water and just float on my back.

At the beach area, the hotel provided us with water shoes (nice) that were way too big for me (not so nice). Then they provided two small "bowls" of mud. These were actually just formed out of the mud along the shore. We were instructed to smear it all over, leave on for about 15 minutes and then rinse it off in the sea or the fresh water showers. We slathered some on, but couldn't wait the 15 minutes so just started backing into the sea. We weren't that impressed with the mud - maybe because we didn't leave it on long enough or maybe because it's just mud and all the hype is just marketing. 

So, we backed into the water ... oh yeah, another tip is to back in to make it easier to get your balance and start floating (which worked incidentally).  The water had an almost slimy look and feel to it - very strange - and the top 1/4 inch was really cold, but underneath it was nice and warm. Very strange experience. We floated on our backs, but not the way you would think. In a pool, your feet kind of hang down and you kind of arch your back to stay afloat. In here, you have to kind of hold your stomach in almost like a sit up to keep your head and feet level. Hard to explain - suffice to say it was an interesting experience and very different from floating in the ocean or a pool. It was also as smooth and calm as glass and a little eerie to think that NOTHING lives in that water. Supposedly, you can go scuba diving in the Dead Sea, but neither Brian nor I could understand the point, unless perhaps just to say you did it.

After about 30 minutes of floating and a few more trips in and out to slather on more mud, we called the adventure done and headed to the real pool and hot tubs.

1 comment:

  1. it's look beautiful, o yeah , that's right if swim in the dead sea we will not sink.........