To Madaba

Amman to Petra

We took the main highway south from Amman to Petra.  The road cut through barren desert.  It reminded me of Nevada between Sparks and Elko, a whole lot of rocks and open space.

Barren for hours!

As we climbed out of the desert and got close to Petra, we encountered snow.  The kids wanted to get out and throw snowballs, but that wasn’t in the cards.

Petra to Wadi Rum

Out of Petra, we rode over the high passes again.  The morning air was cold and the windmilled roads were covered in ice.

Brrrrrr….Now that is cold!
Everyone was OK, but it sure made me glad I wasn’t driving.

The Dead Sea

We left the Wadi Rum in a privately hired car to Madaba.  We wanted to take the King’s Highway; however we ended up taking a more scenic route from the tip of the Gulf of Aqaba northward to the Dead Sea.  The road weaved through desert farmland.  Tomatoes and vegetables were grown everywhere.  Gradually we continued to descend until we reached the Dead Sea.  At 422 meters below sea level, it is officially the lowest point on Earth.  Kylie and Alyssa had some trouble getting their head around being below sea level, but above the sea.

We walked down the Dead Sea and crunched salt crystals all the way down.  The shore was white with thick salt crystals.

Salt Crystals
That’s not ice….its salt.
The Dead Sea

We took our shoes off and stepped into water.  It was so salty it felt oily.  The sharp crystals hurt our bare feet. Some tourists swam and floated in the distance.  It was cold and I wasn’t going any farther than my ankles.  Because the water is so salty, it burned Sharleen’s scrapes and cuts.

A great read about the dying of the Dead Sea (Click Here and here) reveals that in the 1950 the surface areas was 1000 square kilometers, and only 667 in 2017.  Scientists say that the level is lowering at a rate of 1 to 1.4 meters per year.  A combination of less rain, and higher demands for water reduces run off.  This one-two punch results in a falling sea level.

“Daddy, if global warming is causing sea level rise, why don’t they just move the water from the ocean to here.  Won’t that solve both problems?”

“Well, that will cost a lot of money, who will pay for it?”

“The government.”

Ahhhh to see solutions with such simplicity.  The gift of youth.

The Dead Sea drops over one meter per year.  Climate Change is real.

Up the road a bit our driver, Ibrahim, stopped at a local hot spring.  He showed us  through a hole in the wall, where many locals were stripped down to their shorts and were lounging in steaming water.  Some even washed their hair with shampoo.

Kylie put her suit on and jumped in.

Hot springs

The driver explained that many tourists usually don’t come here because it is dirty and there is no bathroom.  Even though garbage lined the creek and our shoes crunched glass bottles on the way, it didn’t stop local families from playing in the water or groups of young men from setting up barbecues while they sat in the water.  We watched a group caked with Dead Sea mud, came up from the sea to rinse off.

As we climbed out of the Dead Sea basin we saw herd after herd of sheep and goats.  They were throughout Jordan with shepherds tending to flocks.

Sheep on the road

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