experiences

A Dip in the Dead Sea

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I never thought I’d actually be in the Dead Sea. I’d hoped at some point I’d get to visit Israel, but never got more detailed than that. Last Friday, that all changed. 🙂

I survived the 12 hour flight in US Airways economy, largely thanks to a new neck pillow and bulkhead seat, and arrived midday in Tel Aviv. My friend picked me up and we promptly headed out to the Dead Sea, roughly 2 hours away. After dropping our stuff off at the hotel, we headed to a local outdoor spa in the hopes I could not only go for a dip, but also experience the joys of a mud bath.

Ein Gedi Spa Dead Sea Israel

I was first warned though that the Ein Gedi Spa was not a high end spa, as my friend put it — the changing rooms are what you’d expect at a high school. But it offered the advantage of applying the mud myself, vs having a spa attendant do it.

I didn’t care as much about the locker rooms, I was interested in the mud. “Is it high end mud? I don’t want the cheap stuff” And thus ensued hilarious conversations a la Prarie Home Companion for the rest of the trip about only wanting “clean, fresh mud”, etc, not “dirty mud.”

Sadly we’d arrived as it was closing, so I wasn’t able to romp around in the mud bathing area but we did hike down to the water (which has receded dramatically in the last 30 years) so I could go in.

Dead Sea 1985 levels Ein Gedi Spa

But I did, and it was amazing.

Keri Heels First Travel floating in Dead Sea

I naturally float in almost any water, but I was not prepared for this. Hearing it was ~31% salt didn’t mean much to me, but I had barely lifted my feet off the ground in waist-deep water before half my body was floating on top. Now I see how easy it is to take those pictures of people reading newspapers while floating (or in my case, catching up on Inside Flyer).

The water was slightly cool, and it was incredibly relaxing to lay there looking at the gorgeous mountains and hills surrounding the sea. I’m already excited to go back.

View from Ein Gedi Dead Sea

Note: If you do have any cuts or abrasions, it will burn tremendously. And, for lack of a better word, you will actually feel oily once you get out. And chalky. Somehow it is possible to feel both oily and chalky. But its worth it. And I did notice the few cuts I had seemed to heal a little quicker.

Stay tuned for upcoming reports on what I managed to cram in my remaining 48 hours in Israel!

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3 Comments

  1. Charlie

    November 12, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I love the Dead Sea! Last time I was there, my swim stuff slipped off the railing during the night and when I woke up in the morning, it was standing up in the corner as stiff as a board!

  2. leandra

    November 13, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Oily and chalky is a good description — I definitely felt “slick” after emerging from the water. We did not do any mud treatments on our trip but we did buy some pre-packaged mud at the local shops for friends back home.

  3. Myrna

    November 16, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Too bad you didn’t get to do the mud treatment too. I did and my skin felt great, so smooth and silky, and like you mentioned it helps heal any cuts. Loved my 4 trips to Israel and would go again without any hesitation

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