Dead Sea Jordan: What you should know before visiting.
The Dead Sea (which is really a lake) is situated between Israel and Jordan and is the lowest place on earth at 400 meters below sea level. Sadly, the Dead Sea is slowly disappearing, it is dropping about 1 meter each year and at this rate it is said that we may only have a few decades before it is gone. A project called the Red Sea–Dead Sea Water Conveyance, also known as the Two Seas Canal project will bring sea water to help stabilize the Dead Sea and is said to begin in 2018. If all goes well the next generation will get to enjoy this beautiful place.
I’d heard so much about the Dead Sea and it’s many health benefits before our visit. The Dead Sea is said to help with skin conditions like dandruff, acne, dry skin, inflammation, eczema and is even said to help with hair growth, reduce cellulite and erase stretch marks. I’m guessing you’d have to spend loads of time bathing in those waters to see results on the two latter benefits; stretch marks and cellulite still present.
I’d love to say that I was super prepared to enjoy this experience at its fullest, but unfortunately, I did not know how to float the Dead Sea in Jordan the right way and showed up without knowing most of the great tips i'm about to share with you.
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Choose Your Hotel Wisely
We decided to stay at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar in Jordan and could not recommend it more! This is the best hotel in the area, great decision on my part! Outside guests are not allowed on the hotel grounds therefore you won’t have to worry about overcrowding while you’re merrily floating in the Dead Sea. The facilities are top notch and the rooms are spacious, up to date, clean and very comfortable. You are a 5-minute walk from the Dead Sea if you stay in the Ishtar Terrace rooms and once on the beach you have access to ramps to facilitate entry into the water as well as showers to wash off the layer of salt residue on your skin.
Leave Your Jewellery in the Safe
Having worked in the jewellery industry for many years I've had many customers come in with tarnished pieces wondering how it happened. Not only will the jewellery tarnish in the water but the air can also have the same effect so unless you are wearing platinum (may still tarnish) keep your jewellery in the safe!
We were recommended to enter the water for a short period of time, about ten minutes. Get out and apply the mud which you can find in bowls right outside the water on the bench. Let the mud dry and get back in the water for another ten minutes. Finally, you’ll want to rinse off under the showers.
Don’t wear your favorite expensive designer bathing suit, you know, the one with care instructions that state: dry naturally in a cool place, do not lay in direct sunlight and try to avoid applying sunscreen on the bathing suit. The mud stains so unless you don’t mind damaging your bathing suit I recommend packing one that you don’t care for too much. Just like the one I'm wearing, out of pure coincidence.
Don’t Feel the Pain
I highly recommend packing swimming/beach shoes. Walking barefoot on rocks to get in and out of the Dead Sea was torturous, wish I had thought of packing mine.
DO NOT shave at least one to two days before going into the dead sea. I decided to shave my underarms that same morning even after Ahmad, our tour guide, specifically mentioned not to do this the night before. Clearly, I need to listen to people more often. Talk about rubbing salt on a fresh wound! Ouch!
If you have an open wound be sure to wrap it up in water proof bandages, my advice: triple wrap it! If it stings when you shave then just imagine what it would feel like with an open wound.
Finally, don’t put your face in the water, remember that time when you swam in a salt water pool and opened your eyes? Well, multiply that burning sensation by a million.
Rinse Yourself Off
The water has an oily consistency which feels nice on the skin until it dries! So, unless you want to feel like a sheet of sandpaper, I would recommend showering off after your floating session or at least soon after so you can still witness the salt caked on your skin in clumps. Because, why not?
Avoid the Blur
Planning on using a waterproof phone pouch or a GoPro? Keep in mind that the water leaves an oily residue which will leave a blurry film and essentially ruin your awesome pictures. I decided to assign Mr. Chieff as my photographer while I enjoyed the Dead Sea experience first. Great idea at the time until I realized the lack of pictures taken, hence the bare post!
Contrary to popular belief, drowning IS possible! If you happen to slip on a rock and fall in face first or if you turn over by accident, the water is dense therefore it is hard to push an arm into it and turn your body over. So be careful and don’t try anything crazy, stay on your back and move around slowly. Act dead.
I hope all this information was useful and can make your experience a little more pleasant than mine! We'll just have to go back and do this again! 🙂
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