Day 8: Mud and Salt
Trip Start May 19, 2009
30Trip End Jun 16, 2009
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Next stop: the Ein Gedi Spa near the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on Earth (did I mention that?)Walk on Water." (Check his blog and you'll see a picture from the film.) We smeared ourselves head to foot in the dark gray chunky stuff. Ugh. But it was fun. Ten minutes or so to let the stuff dry and suck out one's impurities, and it was time for a sulphur shower to wash it off. After lunch at the spa, we hopped on the "shuttle" to the shore of the Dead Sea, which over time has receded so far from the spa that it's a ten-minute walk. No ordinary beach this was: instead of sand, there's hardened salt with rippled grooves. Keep walking into the warm waters, and soon your feet will lose touch with that hard surface and you begin to float. I'll have to say that a few of my cuts from this and that did sting a bit from the high salt concentration, but nothing intolerable. A few meters away, three bicycles are parked half-submerged, a demonstration of the salt crystallization which will someday cover the parts of them exposed to the air. Once in a while, an Israeli Air Force F-15 whistles by high above.
Back at the kibbutz, it's email, blogging, and beers while we do some laundry (it's so hot there's no need for a dryer even if there were one), then dinner, a walk around the lush grounds, and TV: tonight, it's Israeli "Cash Cab," only the driver schmoozes with the passengers way more than the New York version, and he gives hints! Which, if Kevin and I ever got into that cab, would be essential, since the questions were so localized, surely we'd be ejected in minutes. Aside from "Idol," I'd love to see the other local versions of some favorite shows: we saw an awesome ad for the upcoming "Proyekt Maslul" (Project Runway) and another for "Hisardut" (Survivor). But I'm enjoying the music channel in the meantime, and finding the captioning of everything on Channel 2 both helpful and distracting.
Well, it's late, so I'll sign off here. Tomorrow we're really going to get up before dawn, climb Masada, then leave this really wonderful setting, the dramatic and stark desert, the sea of salt, and the oasis that is Ein Gedi, and head for Jerusalem of gold.