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Jennys Jordan Tour: The Dead Sea and Madaba

On the last couple of days on her Jordan tour, Jenny gets covered in mud and discovers Madaba’s famous map.

Oasis Overland tour group floating in the Dead SeaThe Dead Sea & Madaba

We get to the Dead Sea at 11.30 and enter via the Dead Sea Hotel, a 5 star hotel where the use of change rooms and restaurants are available during our visit.

It is hard to imagine that just 7kms from here is Jericho, where Jesus was christened. The Dead Sea is 67kms long, 18kms wide and 377m deep, with salt levels 8.6 times higher than the ocean.  Due to its high mineral content, the low level of pollens and allergens in the atmosphere and reported reduced ultraviolet rays it is considered very healthy. The locals believe you do not need sunblock even at the height of summer, I doubt this very much as the weak winter sun was turning my skin pink in the short time we were there, but this may be due to the Dead Sea mud that I spread liberally over my body.

During the winter months the water temperature is higher than the air temperature making it easy to get in but not so easy to get out and rinse off under an outside fresh water shower.  The experience of floating on the murky, greasy coastal waters is only complete after you have smothered yourself with black mud dug from the shores.  The water has a sting if you have open sores, gets in your mouth or eyes, and for me signaled blisters on my feet from Petra that I didn’t know I had.

The Madaba Map on Oasis Overland's Jordan tourMt Nebo and Madaba

We head from the Dead Sea to Mt Nebo along a steep windy road offering great views of the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. It is very cold on the exposed mountain top.  We spend ½ hour at the Moses Memorial Church and the lookout with views as far as Jericho. We stop briefly at St George’s Church, home to Madaba’s most famous site, the Mosaic Map crafted in AD 560 depicting all the major biblical sites of the Middle East from Egypt to Palestine.

The trip ends here…

It has been a long day and we are all ready to get to the Madaba Hotel for a hot shower to wash Dead Sea oils and salt from our skin and rug up against the cold.  We check out Haret Joloudna restaurant tonight, it offers local cuisine and hosts tourists and locals alike.  The food is very good and the prices reasonable, especially for Jordan where costs are much higher than Egypt.

The Jordan trip ends here so I make my way back to Egypt.   The next adventure begins in Dahab………

Read Jenny’s previous entry – the City of Petra

Jenny travelled to Jordan on our Egypt & Jordan Explorer tour

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