Jordan: Dead Sea

Hello again! I just got back from the Dead Sea and cannot wait to tell about my experience, as well as what I would do differently if I got another go at it!

The trip started around 7am with a relaxing walk to the pick-up point to meet the group I would be traveling with. The weather was super fair and I was worried it would be too cold to swim. Boy was I mistaken! About an hour and 10-minute drive landed us through the beautiful rolling hills and to a place that was easily 15 degrees warmer. We arrived at a hotel to begin our day of leisure and fun!

cats napping in the shrubbery around the pool

We decided to go down to the shore first! I could not contain my excitement at this point. We started walking that way before realizing there was actually a shuttle that took guests to the beach. Oops. The walk was way longer than anticipated. Finally, the shore was in site and I stepped onto the beach for the first time. What a weird texture it was! The best I can describe it would be like if you crossed sand with very fine dirt. It was super silty feeling and totally different than I was expecting. Also, in lieu of shells, the beach was speckled with an assortment of rocks.

My first mistake: deciding to skip the mud bath and getting straight into the water. Y’all. The burn was real. After submerging almost my entire body the stinging sensation set in. I don’t consider myself to have sensitive skin even in the slightest, but this water was a whole other level of irritation. Wading through it felt so thick. After doing a sensory deprivation tank two years ago, I expected the feeling would be very similar. The water was so much more caustic and for the most part, felt like the tank, but multiplied by 1000! It was hard to keep my feet under me as I got deeper. My body was like oil on water! I only spent about 10 minutes floating in the water for my first dip. I would not recommend staying in any longer than this at any given time.

I got out of the water and dried off. Maybe 5 minutes later I looked down at my arm to see it covered in salt. I decided it was probably better to go wash it off in the nearby shower than to keep it on my skin. The dryness of my skin after getting out of the water was like nothing I have ever experienced. In the SpongeBob Movie there is a scene where he’s under a lamp and all dried out. That is exactly how I felt. It was almost painful! For my second round in the water I decided it was time for the mud bath! I was hoping that it would redeem my skins dryness. After covering my body in the mud, praying for relief, nope. My skin burned even worse than before. I was seriously on fire! I practically ran to the water to rinse it off.

Smiling through the pain

As I was rinsing off the mud, I got a bit of a taste of the water. It was no doubt the saltiest thing I had ever come into contact with. In fact, if you looked closely at the water, you could see swirls of salt. It almost looked the same as heat dancing on the pavement in the summer. The buoyancy was spectacular, but what an unforgiving environment for life! The sun was harsh, the water was unbearably salty, and the air was suffocating. We spent another few hours by the pool to cool off but it was nowhere near enough. On our way home I was absolutely exhausted and could not wait to take a shower.

Things I wish I would’ve done differently:

  • Got mudded first- this would’ve at least acted as insulation for a bit. I should not have dried my skin out and then put the mud onto it.
  • Applied sunblock more frequently- my back blistered.
  • Not gotten my hair wet- it took me 2 hours, lots of prayers, a whole bottle of conditioner, and detangling spray to brush it out.
  • Brought more water- the hotel did not include water with lunch and it was super expensive.
  • Brought lotion with me- They don’t call it the Dead Sea for nothing. RIP skin.

Hopefully this will give a good overview for those wanting to go to the Dead Sea! It really was a remarkable experience and I can’t wait to go back!

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