By Chibuogwu Nnadiegbulam
The Dead Sea, one of the famous tourist attractions of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. That's our destination today - many thanks to one our Jordanian colleagues, Farah, who made the arrangements easier.
Our bus was leaving at 9am, so we had been told to be at the lobby by 8:45, meaning we should have had our breakfast before then.
You can bet I was right on time, in anticipation of the great day ahead. I didn't plan to swim, but just in case I got into the water anyways, I packed an extra clothe to change into.
And so we got on our way to the lowest point of the earth, driving past houses on hills, beautiful patterns of trees and of course, deserts too.
As we approached the Dead Sea, we first stopped by at the place where the sea level was marked, took photos and all, before getting to the Great Bazaar shop, where dead sea products are sold. There were a few "buy one and get one free" and some others with 25% discount.
There were also beautiful hand-made items that could be used as souvenirs. Really tempting, such that if I were Aliko, I probably would have bought the whole shop.
"But my dear, the recession follow me come here" considering the shrinking process my darling naira went through. Simply put, "I cut my coat according my cloth".
Moving on, we finally arrived at the Dead Sea at about 11:30am, through one of the many hotels lined up on its bank, and it was time to officially get the day started.
There was this long staircase leading downwards to the sea. As we climbed down, we saw that the sea had really receded from where it was in 2000.
So much had been said about the importance of the salt and mud from the sea being used for body/skin treatment and care, as well as cure some medical ailments too. So, it wasn't too surprising to find even the aged going for a swim -
I saw women and men, probably in their 70's or 80's. One even had to be aided down the stairs. A middle-aged woman told me she comes to the Dead Sea almost every day and I only needed to see her skin to confirm that.
You don't need to know how to swim to get into the Dead Sea. You float on the sea. Don't just let the water into your eyes or mouth. I experienced both.
I had rubbed mud on my body, then waited for about two minutes before getting in the water to wash it off. But I don't know how I was thinking I could wash my face with the sea without it entering my eyes.
My goodness! It was as if pepper (the hottest you can think of) had entered my eyes. I had to be led like a blind by Tracy from Cameroon, to where I could use normal water to wash off my face.
That experience made me wonder how blind people are usually condemned to trusting the person leading them.
But even after washing my face, I was not done with the sea. I went back in and this time I went a little deeper and started floating with my back on the water. It was fun and scary at the same time, because the water kept threatening to turn me over and so I was also struggling to steady myself.
There was this few minutes I did float without struggling and I thought I could try it using a book like most of my colleagues had done. No way. The book, which was Martin's touched the sea while I tried to make sure my face did not enter.
That was my last adventure in the Dead Sea. I enjoyed it all the same. And I also asked Martin to forgive me for wetting his magazine.
After lunch, I didn't go in the water again, but decided to take photos and make short video clips beside it.
We were back at the hotel in the evening. And after shower, dinner, a few calls and chats, it was bedtime.