Floating in the Dead Sea!

Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
Trip End Mar 13, 2011

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Flag of Jordan  ,
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Dead Sea was one of the highlights of our Middle Eastern trip. We were looking forward to taking the famous 'floating the in the Dead Sea' picture. We are stocked up on tap water in Petra having been informed that we were bush camping that night (i.e. no facilities) and that the reserve for canyoning may be closed for the season.

We spiralled down towards the Dead Sea which is some 400 metres below sea level. The air felt a bit muggy but it wasn’t really any different from above sea level. Andrew and I were one of the first to head off into the water. We took our 2 litre bottle of water and our underwater camera. I don’t think I was prepared for exactly how salty the water was. We had been told before had that we would find any cuts that we had. Andrew had cut his little toe in the swimming pool at Petra, so he was in pain (but of course not showing it ;) ) I on the other hand, was a gumby, and decided that I would swim in it like the sea and got my face wet. It was so painful, my eyes and face were stinging! I came out of the sea, towards my fellow companions who had not gone in yet, hobbling out, holding my face saying ‘It burns…it burns!’ – A welcoming scene I think ;).

I washed my face with the fresh water and went back in. None of us lasted more than 10-15 minutes in the Dead Sea. It was so salty, imagine sugar syrup but instead of sugar it was salt. It was rather syrupy and you didn’t want to get it in your mouth – it was disgusting!

As we were all getting out Duncan had mistakenly uncovered some gloopy grey mud. Apparently it was good to rub this stuff on your skin. Purdy started the trend and Lacie and I joined it. We washed up and headed back to the truck. If you ever visit the Dead Sea make sure you take some fresh water with you!

Just a few hundred metres down the road there was Wadi Mujib National Reserve, where we could do Canyoning. This was the perfect activity after the very salty Dead Sea because we could wade through a fresh water river. Canyoning cost 14 Jordanian Dinars each and the compulsory life jackets that they provided us with were rubbish. I had to tie mine together and Katie’s life jacket was way too big for her – too cute J. Us two, Maureen and Mick, Katie and Nathan, Duncan and Purdy, Phil, Silvia, Lacie and Richelle all went canyoning. The others had to sit and wait at the entry while Graham and Colin went into the city on some secret business. Unfortunately that meant 2 hours of swarming flies for the non-canyoners.

Canyoning was loads of fun. We can’t really describe the experience; you’ll have to look though our pictures for this one. It was basically a Canyon with a small river at the bottom of it. We had to climb up a couple of metres on some ropes in some places and hoist ourselves up mini water falls in other places. Graham told us that when we arrived at a waterfall that was the end of our trip and we had to come back. The waterfall was so much fun; again take a look at our pictures J

On the way back to the truck, I had decided that I wanted to take a video of Andrew sliding down a rock. I had gone down first and Andrew had the already taken a video of me from up top. Anyways, Andrew threw the camera (having said ‘are you sure’) to me and in the true nature of ‘Lee-Sia gumbiness’ I dropped it! Within a split second of me dropping it, the rest of the group instinctively duck down to rescue the camera, fearing that it would be swept down stream by the current. Mick and Nathan ran down stream and the rest of the group ducked down in stages down river from where I dropped it. I walked down stream with Maureen and Purdy. Remember we were at the bottom of a small waterfall, so the water was ‘foamy’ so we couldn’t see anything. A few metres down stream I heard a ‘Hooray’ upstream and a feeling of relief swept over me! Lacie had found it literally where I had dropped it. Anyways, I got a bit of slack the rest of the day from that people were waving there hands in the air, saying ‘don’t catch like Lee-Sia’ J

Using the current in some parts, we floated back to the reserve entrance. Graham and Colin had prepared a yummy lunch which consisted of: Pita, Tuna or Egg and fresh salad. I inhaled my sandwich because it was 2pm by the time we had finished canyoning.

Onto Mt Nebo for our bush camp that evening.
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