Friday, October 31, 2014

Israel Trip - Swimming in the Dead Sea

The day for our swim in the Dead Sea was overcast and cool.  Not my idea of fun, but the others were willing.  The swimming area location was just so beautiful.  In the above photo, I'm looking toward the sea from a patio area.  The descent from this point is quite steep, so I decided to stay up on the hill.  Some of the others in our group stayed behind, too, and we enjoyed a bit of relaxing after our busy schedule that morning.  We had a couple of very nice kitty cats to keep us company, too.

Swimming in the Dead Sea is not like any where else on earth.  Because of the salt content in the water, one can float without effort.  As a matter of fact, it takes effort to avoid floating.  

As we sat on the patio, enjoying the view, a guy in a golf cart came by and offered to take us down to the water.  I was excited and hopped on!    The beach was not like the sandy white beaches I'm used to in Florida, as you can see below.

Not appealing...but it was great fun watching Shelby and the others doing the Dead Sea float.

It's also part of the experience to cover yourself with the black Dead Sea mud.  

There are outdoor showers nearby to rinse off the mud. The minerals in it are very good for the skin.  As a matter of fact, there is an Ahava factory nearby that sells body and beauty products made from Dead Sea dirt.  Ahava is wonderful and I highly recommend it because it makes your skin silky soft.  

While we were at the factory parking lot, we saw what I thought was a deer walk by.  It was a Nubian ibex -- a desert-dwelling goat found in mountainous areas of Israel.  It was a very large, beautiful animal, and I got some great photos.  You can't tell how tall it is by the photo, but I'd estimate it was the size of a large deer, and the top of the horns was probably five or six feet.  He trotted across the parking lot, up the embankment, across the road and into the bushes on the other side.  

The photo below is of another ibex.  I took this shot from the bus as we were heading toward Masada.  Our tour guide said the ibex rest on the ground like this to absorb the warmth of the sand.  (I told you it was cold that day.)

Tomorrow, I'll post about our visit to Masada, a truly amazing place.  I hope you'll stop by again.