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Floating around in the Dead Sea

JORDAN | Monday, 2 June 2008 | Views [7586]

Yoga the Dead Sea way

Yoga the Dead Sea way

Swimming in the Dead Sea (at more than 410m below sea level, the lowest point on the surface of the earth) is a totally bizarre experience. For a start, as you get in the water feels all oily on your skin. Wade in up to your chest and the water forces you up into a floating position. Normally I'm hopeless at floating without moving my arms or legs, but here it is a breeze. In fact if you lie on your stomach and arch your back you can float around in a yoga pose with your legs and arms out of the water! Or if you just want to relax and read a book, just lie back and go for it. It's like having an in built Lilo! Watch out if you're reading the newspaper though, because the wind catches it like a spinnaker. Next thing you know the life guard on the shore is yelling at you because you are being blown away towards Israel and the West Bank!

Catherine's favourite bit about the Dead Sea was the mud pack though. The mud here is jet black and they cover you from head to toe in it apart from around your eyes, so that you end up looking a bit like a seal in a bikini! Apparently its really good for your skin too, but the photos alone are worth it for the 3 JOD (NZ$6) it costs.

Get in quick though if you want to experience the Dead Sea before it's gone. Israel is taking too much water out of the Jordan river that fills it up, so it might be less than 50 years before it dries up for good. However the Israelis are on to the problem... sort of. Rather than taking the simple option of removing less water out of the river, instead they are thinking of building a huge, billion dollar canal from the Red Sea some 300 kilometres away... you do the math...

After rinsing ourselves off we stopped in at Mt Nebo, the spot where Moses finally spotted the promised land only to promptly drop down dead. Poor bugger.

Our next stop was the ruined Roman city of Jerash just north of the Jordanian capital of Amman. Apart from an obligatory but impressive triumphal arch, the highlight of this set of ruins was the perfectly restored theatre. After testing the impressive accoustics ourselves, we got to savour the rather bizarre sight of four Jordanian soldiers in full traditional costume marching around the theatre while they pumped out a sucession of Highland classics on their bagpipes!


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