from desert to dead sea
Below sea level, at the lowest point on earth, the water is seven times more salty than a normal ocean. It’s here that Sarah Johns enjoyed splashing about in Jordan…
“I visited the Dead Sea whilst on a trip in Jordan with Intrepid. It was incredible to float so easily and to revel in the thickness of the water – kind of like wading through smooth jelly that hasn’t yet set. As a regular beach-goer at home, I had to fight the urge to dive under and swim about, the water holds you so buoyant that it forces you to just relax.
The Dead Sea was one of those travel experiences that I’d always looked forward to. It was as unusual and wonderful as I had hoped, but not only for the reasons that I had imagined.
About mid morning a group of Indian businessmen came down to the beach, many of them just in their underwear. They were whooping and running and there was much laughter. One of the men walked gingerly towards the water, with the others going to great lengths to encourage him. “He hasn’t ever been in the sea,” explained his colleague.
The cautious man had his entire group, and all of ours, watching him as he took his first steps into the water. His face lit up with amazement. Two of his friends each picked up an end of his body and lowered him into the water, where he floated so well his chest remained dry. He then put his hand over his face and started to cry with joy and embarrassment. His friends informed us that he was from the desert and that this was a big moment for him.
Later we tried to explain to the man what swimming in the ocean was usually like, but after this experience he couldn’t imagine diving or sinking to the bottom. I just hope someone gives him a life jacket the first time he tries!”
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* photo by Joshua Brown – Intrepid Photography Competition