Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea
After driving for what seemed like miles of desert and sand dunes, we spotted the Ein Gedi oasis located near the Dead Sea region. Although we didn’t have time to visit the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, we were told there is a stream called Nahal David (David’s Stream) where it is believed David hid from the wrath of King Saul some 3,000 years ago.
We spent our time at the Ein Gedi Spa which offered access to the Dead Sea, Dead Sea mud and warm sulfur pools. Despite their supposed theraputic value, I had a hard time sitting in the sulfur pools for more than the half of the recommended 10 minutes. It probably had a lot to do with the awful smell! The mud baths were fun but not particularly satisfying.
Floating in the Dead Sea was a unique experience as it was almost impossible not to float on the surface due to the high salt content. However, given the high concentration of salt in the water it was not recommended to stay longer than 15 minutes. Afterwards, it took a great deal of scrubbing with fresh water to eliminate the slippery residue left on the surface of my skin. You can’t actually swim in the Dead Sea as its density is about 10x that of the ocean. The area is one of the world’s primary health retreats for psoriasis, rheumatic and arthritic ailments.