Camel Crossing & Floating in the Dead Sea

Yield to the camels, people. ;) 

THIS kind of landscape is what we were expecting when we traveled to the Middle East: desert. The sand looks like marble. We couldn't get over how truly AWEsome this view was. In fact, it was here that we decided to use the word "awesome" more sparingly because few things in life actually put us in a state of awe like knowing that God structured all that surrounded us on that trip.

The top photo is a long distance snapshot of what's left of the Dead Sea. From Tel Aviv to En Gedi (location of Dead Sea), it was about a five hour drive but we think we took the long route.

We were actually warned not to drive this route because Palestinians have been known to hide beside the road with bombs (sand dunes and hills make it hard to see ahead) but we accidentally went this way. Praise Jesus that He had His hand over us and no bombs went off during our drive. 

On our drive through the desert, we hit the -100 meter mark. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth in any land mass (417 meters below sea level, to be exact). The quantity of water that evaporates from it is greater than that which flows into it. On our lovely tractor ride down to the Dead Sea from the "spa", signs marked the drastic changes of the shoreline every year. Thus, the signs saying 2000 and 2004. In other words, the Sea is shriveling. Visit it before it disappears. :)

We saw this lonesome clay pot propped up by rocks in the hard mud. Immediately, the verse Jeremiah 2:13 came to mind. This pot is not a cistern, as they are much more complex and actually more like a pit, but this is a great visual of how our lives are broken just like this pot. We attempt to control our own lives by molding them into broken clay pots, when God is there as a natural spring of everflowing Living Water longing to share His abundance with us.

JD heading over to the Dead Sea via boardwalk. The Dead Sea derived its name from the high salinity water which prevents any existence of life forms in the lake. Though the Dead Sea prevents all life forms from living in the water, it does provide healing benefits for people. Healing properties of the water helps arthritis and circulation, strengthens nails and bones, balances skin moisture, slows skin aging and calms the nervous system.

We thought mud would be the base of the Dead Sea because we saw pictures of people floating in the lake with mud covering their bodies. We were mistaken. These jagged, healing salt minerals line the lake. Be sure to wear tennis shoes or thick-soled sandals!

It is impossible to drown in the Dead Sea. We could basically bend our knees as if sitting in a liquid lounge chair. The depth had to be more than five feet here but we wouldn't know because we couldn't even stand up straight. We were human buoys. Absolutely amazing!!

The awesome cabana with salt minerals growing up the posts.

See you again, Dead Sea... I doubt it. :/ The lake dries up at least one yard every year.