Bobbing about

Trip Start Nov 09, 2009
Trip End Nov 18, 2009

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Where I stayed
Movenpick Resort And Spa

Flag of Palestinian Territory  , West Bank,
Saturday, November 14, 2009

Another 6am start to head off to the Dead Sea. A 4 hour journey to get there so I settled down with my neck pillow and pashmina and snoozed. Another rest stop, another souvenir opportunity although this one was geared towards packs of mud and Dead Sea mineral products.

The drive up was through the desert until we got to the southern tip of the Dead Sea which was a beautiful turquoise blue with many areas of the coast showing a clear salt deposit at the edge of the water. There is a lot of cultivation in the area so it looks very lush. This is the lowest point on earth. It didn't feel much different - my ears didn't pop or anything.

We stopped to look at Lot's wife on the way up - turned into a pillar of salt at the edge of a cliff when Sodom and Gomorrah were consumed and she looked back. When we got back onto the bus we were joined by a few hundred flies. Flies are a bit of a problem around the Dead Sea apparently. I'm not sure why - something to do with the chemicals I was told but what, I don't know.

We drove up into the Mountains for a better view of landscape and I got a text from a Palestinian phone operator. Does the fact that I received it mean that I've been to Palestine? It is within view.

We went to a museum showing the development of the Dead Sea from tectonic plates moving and splitting and a projection of where it might end up unless something is done about it (however there are concerns that the canal that is being proposed to link the Red and Dead Seas might cause more problems than it alleviates. There was also a panoramic viewpoint where we could look out over the sea and towards Jericho, Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Its amazing that they are all so close to one another.

Off to the Movenpick Dead Sea for 'eat and swim'. We were told we had the choice of a chicken sandwich or a greek salad. The chicken sandwich turned out to be a traditional meal of seasoned chicken on a flat bread. Much better than a chicken sandwich. Then it was time for the dip in the sea.

There was the option of going in as you were or after smothering yourself in mud. Well, do as the romans do and I caked it on all over (but not on my face) then let it dry off for a few minutes and waded in. Lots of people already in testified that lying on your back was easiest to achieve as falling forward had your bottom as the highest point and sea water in your mouth was to be avoided at all costs. As a result it looked like a group of human sea otters.

Washing off the mud I could feel just how soft my skin felt although my efforts were hampered by not being in front of a mirror and I was missing bits.

I managed to pick up an admirer who introduced himself and then asked my age. I told him he should never ask a lady's age. This didn't deter him so I told him and he didn't believe me. 'You only look 32' which would have been nice to hear if he wasn't just out of smarm school and if I didn't have on a hat and sunglasses which hid most of my face anyway. He followed me up to the sunloungers and tried to persuade me to go to Amman with him but it was time for me to leave so he trotted across to what looked like his dad. I fear he may not be a good arab boy.

I got dressed and tried to wash out my swimsuit but I think it may never be the same again. The hill up to the Movenpick was quite steep - even more so than Petra - but I resisted the urge to use one of the golf buggies they have on hand. Instead I rewarded myself with an icecream like most of the rest of the tour. Movenpick icecream is nice but not as good as roman icecream. I still remember the pistachio to die for.

We all trouped onto the bus home with one photostop on the way to catch the sunset over the sea. There was a real stillness to the water and it was unlike it had been earlier in the day. It was very beautiful.

Eventually we were dropped back at the hotel at 8pm so it was room service and Donnie Darko.
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