Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hitting bottom…the lowest point in my travels

Though I will probably never make it to the summit of Mount Everest, I was able however to make it to the lowest point on earth The Dead Sea. It’s 423 meters (1,388 ft) below sea level, earth’s lowest elevation on land. The Dead Sea is 377 m (1,237 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world.  It is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 67 kilometers (42 mi) long and 18 kilometers (11 mi) wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River. Luckily for me I was already in Jordan and the dead sea is only about an hour away. The dead sea is also a world heritage site and it borders Israel as well.
Since it was the end of November it was a bit to chilly for me to get covered in mud and run around in my bathing suit. I will return there before I leave Jordan though for sure. The hotels that are right on the dead sea are a bit pricey to stay the night  but you can pay a small fee to use the beach and facilities and just take a day trip there. They also charge you quite a bit for a dead sea mud bath. Why pay for that when you and your friends can smear mud all over each other then take a dip in the sea and wash it all off, its more fun that way anyway don’t you think?
Thermal waterfall in Ma'in
I did stop in Ma’in (thermal waterfall) for a bit of water fun though. The air was chilly but the water was a very warm about 105 degrees. It starts off much hotter 150 + but because it is a waterfall it cools significantly before it gets to you. I felt really naked because the water crashes down on you and tries to take your swimsuit with it. Also the local women there go swimming with all their clothes on ( hair scarf, shirt, pants plus the hajib over covering). I wanted to take a picture of them but it is forbidden to take photos of women here. Ma’in is only about a 15 minute drive down a long winding road from the dead see and worth a stop if your going that way anyway. It costs about 15 dollars to get in but you can spend the day there. There are changing rooms and picnic benches available but it is first come first serve. The best time to go was before noon as it became very crowded with locals after that. Also try not to go on a fri or sat as that is their weekend. There is a lovely hotel there that you could enjoy lunch or tea at if you wished. Again staying there was extremely expensive at more than 300 a night.

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