Driving to Jordan Valley Marriott by the Dead Sea

posted Dec 25, 2010, 8:28 AM by Darren Cannell   [ updated Dec 26, 2010, 11:24 AM ]
We let Reanne – our GPS decide which route to take over to highway 65 and Reanne chooses a cow path up and over the mountains, I nicknamed it Death Road.  When you are manoeuvring around the large potholes you have to go precariously close to the edges and I am a bit phobic about roads like this.  The views were quite stunning and there were times that we were driving only 2 kms per hour.  We were the only car on the trail all of the rest were trucks and four wheel drives.
 There were tons of Bedouin campers and groups out having a great time doing I don’t know what?  Lots of families looked like they were camping; after all it was the weekend which is Friday and Saturday here.  Once we were through the mountain range and onto safer ground then I did breathe a sigh of relief.  Really though in retrospect it was a tremendous drive and everyone waves to you like you are some long lost friend.  We felt very safe in the middle of this strange mountain range.  You don’t want to put your head down to do homework because the rocks and mountains were so cool looking and different terrain.  When we drove out of the mountains there was sand dunes and desert and flatness and we stopped for a pee and a chance to let Daxtin run around in the sand. 
The drive was 127 kms and it took over 3 hours.  It was clear sailing on highway 65 which was paved and a normal road and lots of little towns along the way.  Once you get closer to the Dead Sea area there is a ton of agriculture, mostly tomatoes and corn from what we could see.  It is strange to see desert turn into green through aeration.   We finally spotted water but it was the salt pans of the Dead Sea.  When we actually spotted the Dead Sea this was quite exciting for me because I use to teach Christian Ethics and all of this suddenly I was living this experience of the Holy Land for the first time.  We stopped and took pictures of the Dead Sea and drove on to the Jordan Valley Marriott.

When we arrived into our hotel, it was quite decorated for the Christmas Season which was great, I was not sure what to expect in a country that is predominantly Muslim.  The Marriott came through with Christmas Eve celebrations of Christmas carols being played, a huge bonfire and roasting marshmallows, roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and hot chocolate.  We had just swum in the Dead Sea which was surprisingly warm and it was a beautiful night to go swimming.  It is amazing how buoyant you are in the saltiest body of water on earth, it was totally unreal.  Dax just kept swimming around because there is no fear of sinking or drowning.  Here at the Dead Sea we are over 415 metres below sea level the lowest spot on earth.  There is a low calm here which is sort of indescribable maybe because it is so low?