The Dead Sea is about 1300 feet below sea level. It’s amazing because when you’re driving there, you are in the mountains but the sign says SEA LEVEL….and then you just keep going down and down. If we had the kind of rain here that you guys are having there, we wouldn’t be allowed to go because there would be flash floods everywhere. With this hard clay land with hardly any trees, there’s just nowhere for the water to go. Yes, I floated in the Dead Sea. It was so strange. You actually have to force yourself not to float. It is very strange.
On the way to the Dead Sea, you can see several Bedouin camps along the hills…they look a lot like homeless camps and the people are herding sheep nearby. It’s like walking back in time and I ‘m told by our guide that they pretty much do what they want. The Israeli Govt doesn’t bother them and they keep a low profile in the remote areas.
There are also more Arabs as you head south in this part of the Country…we drove near Jericho with is a town that is entirely controlled by the Palestinian Authority…..there are checkpoints on the road on the way there. And across from the Dead Sea, you can see Jordan.
We also went to Masada which was King Herod’s summer palace…..it was built in 72 AD up on a hill about a thousand feet above the dead sea. You have to take a tram to get there….or you can hike it. We took the tram.
When I told my son I was coming to Israel, he said “Are you going to ride a camel?” I thought that was ridiculous because most of the time, I’ve been in the big city or in the country but today, we were in the desert and on the way to the Dead Sea, I stopped and rode a camel. A Palestinian man let me ride his camel for 20 shekles. I made Lars pay. It was cool!
Since we got here only 5 days ago, we’ve been doing a lot of interviews and burning up a lot of tape….but today, was more of a visual day so I plan to post a lot of this on our KXL Facebook site
I know this area is polarizing….political…but you can’t ignore the geography, the history here all the different people. It is really quite amazing.