The drive down from Petra via the winding King’s Highway was full of beautiful and varied scenery. I took most of these from the car as we drove.
After a few stops, we arrived at the Dead Sea a few hours after leaving Petra. When I was a high school teacher, I remember teaching my students about how the Dead Sea is “dying” or shrinking (The water of its main tributary, the Jordan River, is diverted for agriculture to support the booming populations in Jordan and Israel. The water is also pumped by fertilizer companies. Some estimates predict it will be gone by 2050.). It was surreal to see it in person. It was beautiful and serene in a way I didn’t expect.
At the shore, we slathered on the infamously rejuvenating Dead Sea mud and then watched it slowly dissipate in the salty water, leaving behind refreshed and silky smooth skin. The water was a beautiful greenish-blue color and so clear. For some reason I expected it to be murky. When I forced my feet straight down, fighting the buoyancy of my body in the water, I could still see my toes clearly. Then up they would float, bobbing at the surface with no effort on my part. Floating… quiet… tranquil.
Sunset produced an amazing kaleidoscope of colors within a 20 minute time frame: gold, purple, orange, pink. I snapped a few pics with our phone.
Maybe the extra oxygen in the air went to my head, but I did not want to leave! The Dead Sea was a little slice of heaven and such a great way to end our trip to Jordan.
Fun facts about the Dead Sea:
It’s called the Dead Sea because it’s so salty (around 10 times saltier than the ocean) and therefore unable to sustain any marine life (aside from some bacteria)
Water flows into the Dead Sea from the Jordan River. Evaporation occurs at a rapid rate, leaving salt and lots of minerals behind. This process produces a hazy environment that filters out harmful UVB rays.
Floating in the Dead Sea is not as easy as it sounds! It’s easy to flop around like an idiot while trying to get in. Splashing is a no-no since the water really burns eyes and tastes terrible. Your best bet is to just lie back gently as soon as possible, even if the water is very shallow. And do not try turning on your tummy – trust me – more splashing will ensue. 🙂