No trip to Jordan is complete without taking a swim in the Dead Sea.
It is the lowest point on earth at over 400 meters below sea level and at 30 percent salinity it is over 8 times saltier than the ocean, a natural phenomenon that makes it unlike any other body of water on the planet. Sounded like something we couldn't miss!
We teamed up with Miki, our Hungarian travel companion in Amman, and hired a private taxi for 30 JD (approx $45 CDN). The 45 minute drive ended at the Amman Beach Resort, our little slice of paradise for the afternoon. The resort was a little pricey at 12 JD per person to enter, but it gave us full access to a private section of beach, multiple pools and the coveted fresh water shower afterwards. The strip of beach wasn't anything spectacular but it did provide a great view of Israel across the water.
It was quite the experience floating in the sea without any effort. With such insanely high levels of salt it was virtually impossible to sink in the Dead Sea waters. As we entered, we noticed that the shoreline had white salt formations collecting. It was the strangest thing to see on the beach - little balls of salt?!
Of course we had to give the water a taste… right? We stuck one finger into the water and quickly touched our tongues; it started burning within seconds! Oh, THAT's what they meant when they said "don't let the water touch your eyes or mouth".
We were told that a popular thing to do at the Dead Sea is to get a mud scrub with the nutrient-rich mud that comes from the sea. Apparently it is really healthy and many people come from far away just to lather up with the cold, black mud. Not the type to pass on such a thing, we got right into it and had our bodies covered from head to toe.
After baking in the sun for about 15-minutes we went back into the water to wash it off. This is where Cameron also learned that salty Dead Sea water burns when it gets into your eyes! He had to blindly run up the side of the dirt shoreline to a fresh water shower to rinse off the slimy salt water. It's funny now, but it wasn't at the time.
We had to laugh when we jumped into the fresh water pool after taking soaking in the dense sea. We instantly sank to the bottom! It was such a bizarre change after easily floating in the water horizontally.
After an afternoon swim and some final moments basking the desert sun we headed back to Amman for our final days in Jordan before flying to Istanbul, Turkey.
November 7th, 2009