17
Oct
2014
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Dead Sea: Myths and Tips

You can float on the Dead Sea – effortlessly. If you have never done SCUBA diving in your life, this is as close to feeling weightless as you will get! Floating on the Dead Sea was high on my bucketlist – that was the reason driving our Jordanian road trip and calls for a dedicate post!

En route to the Dead Sea

En route to the Dead Sea

Here are five myth busters followed by five tips for an experience that you will always remember!

Myth: The Dead Sea is a ‘sea’

The Dead Sea is not a ‘sea’ as you may have imagined, with you standing at the shore, facing and endless water body. It is a large land locked water body – call it a mega lake, if that helps your imagination. As we stood on the Jordanian side of the water body, we could see the Israeli side only a short distance away. The ‘water baby’ in me was sure that swimming across was doable anytime – no waves and no effort to stay afloat ; it doesn’t get simpler than that, does it?

Dead Sea: We were at the Jordanian side... yonder is Israel

Dead Sea: We were at the Jordanian side… yonder is Israel

Myth: You cannot get sun burnt at the Dead Sea!

You can very well get tanned – be rest assured. The next level after a good tan is sun burn and you can get sun burnt there too! However, the Dead Sea is almost 400 meters below ‘sea level’. The ozone layer here is thicker and hence the UV rays are filtered out better. Even the afternoon Sun is a little gentle on the skin – instead of getting a sun burn, you may just get a good tan.

Myth: You can float only on your back

If true, this myth would seriously question the laws of buoyancy – thankfully, it does not. You can float on your back, on your stomach, on your side or better still, roll over on your side as you bob on the surface of the Dead Sea. However, it is recommended to float on your back so that the extremely saline water does not enter your mouth or your eyes. A drop in your eyes will make you cry and one in your mouth will make you want to scrub your taste buds with soap.

Dead Sea: I did not dare to attempt floating on my stomach!

Dead Sea: I did not dare to attempt floating on my stomach!

Myth: The black Dead Sea mud stinks

The mid is rich in salts and minerals. It has a saline smell, but we did not think that it was strong enough to make us drop the idea of rubbing it on our body. While the cells is Ankur’s nose are on perpetual vacation, mine are hyper active. I wasn’t bothered by the smell.

Dead Sea: Ankur with the mud pack

Dead Sea: Ankur with the mud pack

Myth: No one can drown in the Dead Sea – it is very safe

The Dead Sea is free of any sea creatures – relax and stop imagining Hydra’s serpentine head or a great white shark in the calm waters. One cannot drown here – true. However, there are deaths caused due to suffocation when people lie on their stomach and end up gulping a few mouth-fulls of the highly saline sea water. Be safe and follow instructions!

Two cents from my end… some tips
  • Get the rugged look: Your first floating encounter will make you aware of cuts and bruises that you thought existed. It isn’t wise to shave before entering the Dead Sea – let the razor take a couple of days off as well!
  • Smothering the mud: Smother the black mud and toast yourself for at least 20 minutes. Wash it off by entering the Dead Sea. Voila! Baby soft skin … and this isn’t an exaggeration. Do not miss the experience. It is best that you do not wear your favourite bikini on this day. While the mud does wash off, there are traces that stay on the fabric for the next few washes.
  • Buying Dead Sea products: Want to have baby soft skin after you get back home? Buy some Dead Sea mud/face packs and take them along. The best place to buy these products are from the large malls in any of the big cities. While shopping in DownTown Amman may seem like a more authentic experience, the prices here are higher than those in the malls. The prices at the Amman Duty Free were reasonable as well – good for some last minute shopping.
  • Swimwear: Dress modestly if you are intend to visit the public beach – shoulders and knees covered. If you are planning on enjoying the Dead Sea from the shores of a five star resort, monokinis and bikinis are both acceptable.
  • Footwear is a must: The salt crustation at the shore are sharp and can cut you. Ensure that you carry rubber footwear for the beach.
Dead Sea: Orange glow after the sunset - awesome!

Dead Sea: Orange glow after the sunset – awesome!

As always… send me an e-mail if you need any further details. Glad to help!

Let the travellers’ tribe grow!

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