Dead Sea

What percentage of humans on earth know how to swim? Have you ever thought of this? Well, I don’t have an answer, but I know that most of us want to swim and float. If you are like us, who have learnt the basics of swimming as kids at school or someone who has never kicked your legs in the water – You can swim in the Dead Sea of Jordan and Israel without any effort from your side.

Here are some tips for visiting the Dead Sea in Jordan

Index

Stay – Price resorts

WHERE DID WE STAY – Holiday inn resort

Do I recommend – For the Location, definitely yes. The resort is right on the banks of the Dead Sea, like many of those higher-range resorts. Each of these high range resorts has kind of privatized the part of the beach where anyone other than guests can not enter. 

But everything comes with a cost. Their restaurants are pricey. Unless you have you are on a self-drive trip, it is difficult to go out in the night to any nearby village for dinner. So we ended up having their pricey but delicious meals.

You got to carry your room card to the lake as proof of staying at the hotel. They keep big pots of processed Dead sea soil for a mud bath, which is believed to be good for skin with its mineral content. There is an open shower cubicle, too- The mud is sticky; I am sure nobody wants to walk in the hotel lobby with dirt on the bodies. So rinse it off and wipe it with their towels there itself. They have a spa, sauna (Sauna was complimentary for us), and a pool to rejuvenate your skin after the mud bath.

Can I find a cheaper guest house near the Dead Sea?

We saw no guesthouses/ hostels on the shore of the Dead Sea or in a kilometre radius (as of 2018). If you are looking for cheaper accommodation, you have to choose Madaba (40km from the Dead Sea) In that case; you got to stop near any cliff where you can go downhill ( usually you will see a few cars already parked near such spots). You will save money, but going back to the room without having a shower in regular water is a bad idea. Dead sea water is highly viscous and sticky.

How to Reach Dead Sea

The best way to reach the Dead Sea is by private taxi or small group tours. As you near the lake, you see the windy narrow lake and the cliffside. These views are amazing – A white layer of crystals border the hazy brown mountains and hold the shimmering sheet of turquoise blue water behind them. So when your own vehicle, you can stop whenever/wherever and as long as you want.

Public Trasport – JETT buses are Jordan’s famous bus touring company. You can opt for mini buses too, which is much cheaper than a private taxi. The disadvantage is, minibuses don’t drop you to the exact destination; they stop at Rame. From there, you must catch another cab to get to the Sea. 

You will find a lot of taxi agents in Amman for a day trip or an overnight stay. 

From Wadi Rum– The Dead sea was the last destination of our Jordan trip. We came here from Wadi rum through Jordan Valley highway. You can choose King’s highway too ( We went to Petra from Amman through King’s highway). As the name, the valley is filled with changing landscape. Near Wadirum, it was desert. Then, slowly turned into a bit rocky boulders and barren land. Later few smaller trees appeared and then a green patch – Broccoli and tomato farms! Make sure you stop at the farmer’s shop n the roads to feel the freshness of Broccoli. I’m not too fond of Broccoli, but if I could take it home without getting it rotten by flight, I would have! Our driver Yusuf bought a cart of Tomatoes for home. He said he buys it every time he passes by this route.

Day trip or overnight stay

OVERNIGHT STAY – The best way to enjoy the relaxing lakeside holiday. You won’t be in a rush to go to the next destination. You can use your time to the fullest till evening with Mud bath AND WATCH THE SUNSET. Moreover, the lake feels different in the morning and the evening. We were surprised to see this change in our casual walking near the lake.

Anything more than a day at the Dead Sea isn’t needed.

STILL WATER IN THE EVENING

WAVES IN THE MORNING

DAY TRIP – The first thing to consider – How long are you in Jordan. If short trip, explore Petra or Wadi Rum more and give a few hours to the Dead Sea. The problem of the day trip is not getting the private part of the lake maintained by the hotel and their shower area. But you still can walk downhill the cliff and get into the water.

Why Visit Dead Sea

The width of the Dead Sea (which is actually a lake, not a sea) is around 15km and stretches beyond 90km. The Eastside is Jordana, and the west is Israel. So when the sky is clear and not blurry, you see the lights of Israel from Jordan.

Float on the water without any of your techniques at earth’s lowest point. Yup – even if you do not know swimming, you can swim here without the fear of drowning because you can never drown in the Dead Sea. 

But why is it so – The salt and mineral content in the water is almost 10 times saltier than usual seawater. The extremely high concentration of dissolved mineral salts in the water causes the water to be denser than plain fresh water. Since our body weight is lighter than the density of the water, our body is more buoyant in the Dead Sea, making it easy to float and never drown unless someone pushes you down and pin you down tight. 

 Why does it have such salt content – Scientists say that the present-day Dead Sea was part of the Mediterranean Sea. Around three million years ago, water-filled between parts of the displaced earth’s crust. A million years later, the western part got lifted by tectonic activities, leaving the graben filled with water at a low level. I am no scientist; this is what I have understood by studying the Dead Sea. So do your part of research to know more specifically. Because of its high salinity, there are no plants, fish, or other visible life in the Dead Sea.

Faking the book reading. ( It was the Holiday Inn hotel catalogue) That is very famous among tourists to do. Remember to get the pieces of paper or the trash you dropped down while trying to pose.

I must not forget to thank my human race for being responsible for climate change and hence contributing to the death of the dead Sea- The only source of dead seawater is that little rainfall of the desert and the Jordan River & other natural water sources. But, unfortunately, in the name of civilization and rivalry, Israel and Jordan are equally disturbing water inflow by creating pipelines from the river and diverting it to another direction. So scientists estimated that the lake is shrinking more than 3 feet a year, and the lake will disappear by 2050. So the voids and spectacular patterns you see on the brown land are not God’s art when he created the earth. But it is proof that the ancient salt sea is the site of a looming environmental catastrophe.

There have been measures taken by both countries to save the lake. Still, nobody is sure if the Dead Sea will rejuvenate or shrink to a fraction of its size or disappear wholly, leaving behind barren land like the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan.

Do’s and Dont’s

DONT’S

  • Do not dive into the lake water – the lakes are shallow.
  • Do not dip your whole body; keep your neck above the water level. If the water gets into your eyes, you can not see anything for the next five minutes. It does not mean your eyes are damaged, and you are blind for the rest of your life, but you will be blind for the next few minutes.
  • Do not swim and splash water so that you don’t get water into your eyes and you don’t go momentarily blind. Only float and maybe just push yourself smoothly with your hands.
  • Do not try to exhibit your swimming skills here – no butterfly stroke, no side stroke, ONLY BACK FLOAT.
  • Don’t wander in your bathings suits in the hotel lobby.

DO’S

  • Cover if any cuts or openings on your skin with waterproof bandages. If kept open, you will have a burning sensation when the saltwater touches the open wounds.
  • Treat yourself generously with the mud. It is sticky, but it is fun to do this thing. Get into the water, come back to apply the mud- let it dry for 30 minutes- go back to water again for however long you want – come back and rinse off the left out mud with regular water under the shower.

Do you need a Burkini?

For tourists, there is no restriction on swimwear on the lake bank. You do not need a Burkini. The regular swimwear and Bikinis will do.! But be sure to put on clothes or a big towel while walking back to the hotel room. We hardly saw anyone in their swimwear in the lobby, even while going to the sauna directly after the mud bath. This applies to men, too – You may be the only one to walk barechested in the lobby. So put on a shirt.

We saw an Arab couple; all that girl did was stand on the bank watching her partner have fun in the water and mud. But after a while, one more couple came; she did wear a Burkini under her dress to get into the water.

Did this post inspire you to float in the Dead Sea? Let us know in the comment section below.

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