Friday May 27 2022 – Our last full day; we leave for home early tomorrow. With luck, by the time I get to the UK, my health will be back to normal; at the moment it’s slightly embarrassing seeing the various medications I have had to use over the last days all lined up by a thoughtful hotel room cleaner.
Given the forecast for today and onwards
and my propensity for enjoying myself in the heat then (a) getting home may not be such a bad thing and (b) our planned activity today would best be done as early in the day as possible.
Accordingly, the alarm went off at 0630 and we donned swimmers and hotel bathrobes and headed down to the beach to tick the tourist box marked “swim in the Dead Sea”. The hotel’s beach officially opens at 0700, and we were very prompt.
There are instruction as to what to do
but we weren’t really interested in the mud bit, just to experience the buoyance from the extra salinity.
One useful tip we got from the Audley materials was that the entry to the water might be stony, and thus water shoes were advised. This is very sound advice.
Jane went in first
and I went in afterwards. I was expecting the water to be lovely and warm. It wasn’t particularly, and so there was still that awkward moment when testicles hit cool water, but once I was floating I could feel some currents of warm water around me.
The buoyancy thing is quite remarkable; there’s something of a gap between understanding a principle and experiencing it. I tried making myself vertical in the water, which would result in me sinking in your average UK swimming pool; but this wasn’t a likelihood here.
We were the only ones at the beach, which is, I think, a first for me (under normal circumstances, my being the only person on a beach would indicate that Something Was Seriously Wrong).
And that was our experience of being 400m below sea level. We showered the brine off and walked back to the hotel
before partaking of breakfast. I discovered that eating had just about become possible, although occasionally still excruciating. After breakfast, we pottered out to the front of the hotel to take some pictures of the Flamboyant Trees which are in profusion around the site.
We don’t know if we were lucky in being here in their flowering season, or whether they’re always flamboyant, but they really are a lovely sight.
Come 3pm, we thought that some lunch would be a good idea,
preferably in an air-conditioned restaurant rather than on a terrace. So we headed back to Ashur, the Italian joint, and had a very pleasant meal there, which underlined yet again the potency of Afta Med + paracetamol + gin as an effective anaesthetic. Afterwards we tottered back to our room for a siesta and some light packing, before deciding that a final glass of something cold would be Just the Thing.
There was a wedding going on at the hotel, in a section a long way from our bedroom (we had been warned at check in). That the temperature was 34°C didn’t seem to affect the enthusiasm of the crowd or the DJ. Since I assume it was a Jordanian wedding, they didn’t even have excessive consumption of alcohol as a reason for their madness.
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So we resigned ourselves to a couple of hours of listening to a mix of Arab and Western dance music and got our heads down for the night.
Tomorrow, we travel home after an intense but extremely enjoyable holiday (despite one of the abiding memories I shall take with me).
Assuming no dramas between here and getting home, I’ll try to post a few final thoughts on these pages tomorrow. So, please check back in then….