yesterday, orit took me to the dead sea. and after my experience
there, i have put together these instructions on how to best enjoy
WHERE AND WHY YOU'RE GOING:
IT'S UNIQUE: the dead sea is the lowest place on earth: 1294 feet
below sea level (-404 meters). at its lowest point, the dead sea
is 492 meters deep. the jordan river flows into it; so do a few
springs and flood waters when it rains in the mountains. but the
dead sea has no exit point, so all the minerals that enter it stay
in it. the water in the dead sea is 80% salt - you can see the crystals
on the shore - it looks like ice.
IT'S HEALTHY: the dead sea is supposed to be healthy to bathe in
the dead sea. you can stop at mineral beach, which for a small fee
rents you lockers and showers. very convenient.
WHAT TO BRING:
FLIP FLOPS: the lockers are about 100 yards from the sea. and the
sidewalk that goes from the lockers to the water is paved in dark
grey cement. if you don't have flip flops, you will walk barefoot
to the water, across baking rocks (it won't rain again until october).
boy, is this painful! by the time you reach the water, you will
have blisters on the bottom of your feet.
REEF WALKERS: if you think the blisters will give you cushion from
the rocks in the water, rocks, you're wrong. you step in the water,
right onto a bunch of round rocks. you know what that feels like
- you kind of take a step, bend your knee to keep the weight off,
and sort of "hop", only to land with the other foot more rocks.
ugh! finally (after about 15 feet), the rocks will give way to
and you will be able to stand with relative comfort. then you can
turn around and watch people get in and out of the water - everyone
else has to cross this same mine field, and nobody had a strategy
that works very well. except wearing reef walkers.
A TIGHT BATHING SUIT: 80% salt in the water makes everyone and everything
very buoyant. it's easy to float on dense liquid - floating objects
displace their weight, and since the water is so heavy, you will
float high in the water. (sounds like a physics lesson, huh?) well,
it's not just your body that floats high, but it's the various parts
of your body that also float higher than normal. you can imagine
the effect on some of the older women there - if they're not careful,
they could suffocate!
WHAT YOU WILL DO:
GET DIRTY: ok, if you're still reading after that last visual image,
i'll tell you about the mud. the thing you're supposed to do is
cover yourself with the mud in which you are now wriggling your
toes. this mud is full of minerals, and it's a free mudbath. so
that's what you will do - stand near the shore, scoop up the mud,
and coat themselves with it. you and everyone else will be various
shades of grey. make sure you coat the blisters on your feet - it
will help them heal faster.
WASH UP: after the mud dries, you need to wash it off at the shower
by the beach. of course, you won't want to damage your feet anymore,
so you will foolishly try to cross the mud flat. don't fall for
this temptation. you will sink up to your waist, and have to ask
your tour guide for help in getting out. and all that mud doesn't
really help the blisters anyway.
BLINK: a lot. you should do this instead of rubbing your eyes. if
you rub your eyes, you will have to ask your tour guide to help
you get to the sweet water, because the stinging will be so bad
that you won't be able to open them.
WHEN YOU LEAVE:
USE SOAP: after you add a few more blisters to the bottom of your
feet on the way up to the lockers, you will wash off the mud and
the salt. this is rather difficult if you don't have soap. but if
you look long enough around the showers, you will find a bar that
HOW YOU WILL FEEL:
GREAT! you'll want to do it again. your skin will feel silky smooth.
you will feel rejuvenated. and you'll forget about the blisters