Dead Sea, Israel
“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps.” Frank Herbert
If anyone tries to tell you that floating in the Dead Sea is overrated, don’t believe them. Floating in the Dead Sea is truly an awesome experience and a must-do when traveling to Israel.
The reason why it is so easy to float in the Dead Sea is because it is the second saltiest body of water in the world, with a 33% salt content. The high salt content makes anyone buoyant and actually makes it pretty impossible to swim or do anything other than float. The Dead Sea, which is actually a large lake, is so full of salt and minerals, nothing can live in it. For being so salty, the water is pretty clear You can literally sit down in the water and float in a seated position. You can recline, you can lie flat, you can do sit-ups, you can do leg scissors, or pretty much any other thing you can possibly think of. The water feels thick-almost oily.
The other popular thing to do at the Dead Sea is to slather black Dead Sea mud all over your body. Dead Sea mud has many health benefits. The rich minerals accelerate exfoliation and restore pH balance. Dead Sea mud can improve elasticity. The drying of the mud draws out toxins from skin cells. There is an added benefit of looking really scary and seeing what your skin might look like when you’re 120 years old as the dried mud makes your skin pucker and move in very odd ways. It is really funny to see everyone on the beach like that. (selfie before the mud)
We stayed at the Herod hotel in Ein Borek. It is the only hotel with a private beach. The mud is not on this beach so they give you mud to use. It works. There are other beaches that have mud, but I opted for privacy, ease and comfort.
You can get “Dead Sea mud treatments” all over Jordan and Israel, but here you’re actually at the Dead Sea getting it straight from the source. There are many other health and beauty spa treatments to do.
Don’t shave for a few days before floating in the Dead Sea. Have you ever had lemon juice on a cut? That is the kind of pain you’ll experience. I did it when I was here and eighteen years old and I still remember that pain. Also, beware that any cuts or abrasions are going to sting. Your skin will start to tingle after spending some time floating in the Dead Sea even without any cuts .Don’t get the water in your eyes. If you do, it’s going to hurt l and you’ll need to get your hands on some fresh water . Wear an old and/or dark bathing suit. The mud is dark and it can stain or make colors fade. I know that now.
Leave enough time to take a long shower. You can try to rinse off all the mud in the Dead Sea, but it’s pretty hard to get it all off. Also, as soon as you leave the water you’ll notice deposits of salt stuck on your body.
People came to the Dead Sea many years ago, because the water was supposed to be magical. It’s said to heal all kinds of problems like psoriasis and osteoporosis. There is not only a lot of salt in the water but many other minerals. Along with soaking in mineral rich water, you are very far below sea level (in fact, the lowest point on earth!) so that you aren’t getting the sun rays that will burn you. For that reason it’s a safe place to lay in the sun and let the mud and salt water work their magic. People come from all over the world on medical trips to help their health, while looking for alternative cures. (view from my window- bathers at sunrise).
The Dead Sea has been rapidly shrinking in recent decades due to the diversion of incoming water from the Jordan River. Large sinkholes have recently started appearing, and while Israel and Jordan are trying to save it, there’s no certainty that it will last for much longer. The sooner you come, the more water will be here for you to enjoy. The Dead Sea is nothing short of amazing.
If you want to take photos while covered in salt and mud or floating in the sea use a cheap waterproof camera. I did not have one.
It is a happy, tiring day ( asleep with an ice cream cone,).