Surreal. Odd. Unusual. Weird. Freaky.

This past November, ThrillCam and I were given the opportunity to take a trip to Jordan. 

As you can see, Jordan is in the Middle East, right next to Israel and surrounded by, well, basically everyone else in the Middle East.

It is a unique and small Middle Eastern country that has some very cool offerings.  And, for my American friends who know very little about the Middle East (like me), I am happy to say, I would, without hesitation, recommend a visit to Jordan.  It may surprise you and possibly even delight you.

One of the places we visited, while in Jordan, was the Dead Sea.

There’s really no way to accurately describe it; it’s amazing and odd, all in one.   It’s just one of those places you have to see for yourself.  And, since, not everyone will be given that opportunity, I will try to give you a little insight….

First, a little background information.  Did you know the Dead Sea is slowly drying up?  The lowest point of dry land on earth is the shoreline of the Dead Sea at 1300 feet below sea level.  And, because it is at such a low point, it does not drain off any of its water, and yet, the Dead Sea is in danger of disappearing. 

While it does not drain off water, it also does not take in water from another source.  (The country of Jordan is sorely lacking for water, as whole.)  We were told that Jordan will soon begin pumping water from the Red Sea into the Dead Sea to help remedy the problem, hopefully preventing it from evaporating completely within  relatively few years.

So, evaporation is the leading cause of a disappearing Dead Sea, which is sort of bad.  But the evaporation has some very positive effects, as well.  The Jordanians harvest the left-behind salt and minerals.  What do they do with all that salt and mineral-packed mud? Why, they create all those lovely bath and body products you find in your local spas and retail stores.

That’s probably more than you wanted to know about the Dead Sea.  After all, I usually talk about stupid, frivilous things, like Topsy-Turvy Tomato Planters, not scientific topics like evaporation and lavendar scented scrubbing salts…. Why don’t we move on to some fun stuff?

Okay, so, get this: because of the high salinity, you can’t sink in the Dead Sea.  Ever.

All you can do is float, whether on your tummy or on your back.  (I positioned my body vertically in the water and floated “standing up.”  The water never allowed me to sink lower than my shoulders; my head was always out of the water, no treading required.)

 ThrillCam didn’t even have to paddle or kick to stay afloat.  It cracked us up attempting to go under or roll over. 

(It kind of looks like ThrillCam is skinny-dipping, doesn’t it?!) 

At our resort, they provided these odd plastic shoes to wear into the water:

And, because I never really got into the whole Jelly shoes trend of the 80s, these sort of turned me off at first sight.  But, ThrillCam and I figured there was a reason why they were there, so we slipped some on before getting into the water.  Too bad I didn’t take pictures…we were quite cute.

Sure enough, the shoreline was rocky with sharp edges.  The lovely plastic footwear was not only fashion-foward, it was protective gear, as well.  (In fact, I scrapped my knee on a rock on the way out, and it appears I will have a scar for life, so I was thankful the Jellies protected our little tootsies.)

(In the upper left-hand corner of the above picture, you can see Israel.  And, on the rocks, you can see the salt deposits.)

One thing that struck us, while there, was the noticable lack of movement on and about the water.  There were no boats, jet skis, or other watercraft buzzing around; it was so calm.  (The high salt content would just ruin any engine or boat siding.)  It’s very odd to look out and see nothing on or around the water.  Plus, you know that nothing can live in the water, so there were no fishermen on or near the shore, nor were there any birds flying around.  

It’s just plain surreal, odd, weird…but, so beautiful in its calm, serene way.

 

It is an unusual place to visit, but I’m really glad we made it; not many folks can say they’ve floated in the Dead Sea. 

But, I’m not done with this place, just yet.  Check back for more on our trip to Jordan, and other crazy everyday goings-on.

See you soon,

E.

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4 comments

  1. Bill

    I enjoyed your narrative and photos and learned much that I
    didn”t know before (Duh! the only things I CAN learn are those I
    didn’t already know!) While I want to learn more about your trip,
    the main question on my mind is: What is the origin of
    “ThrillCam?”

    • Elizabeth Simmons

      Thanks, Bill!
      When we were in college, David Letterman had a schtick where he used different objects to carry a camera in his studio, like the MonkeyCam &, I think, the CowCam. For a while, he had the ThrillCam.
      I think it fits on many levels. 😉
      E.

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