Jen and I decided that we would recuperate together at the Dead Sea. Her knee and my Achilles tendon are both not in great shape. From Arad, she got a lift from the guesthouse with a friend of Michaela’s. I slowly made my way back south having traveled quite a ways north. My hike back, combined with a variety of lifts, took the better part of the day but we finally connected and hobbled towards each other for a joyful reunion.
We are camped on an empty beach facing the Jordanian mountains. The shore is an amazing landscape of white crystallized salt that looks like a northern ice flow. The Dead Sea is the saltiest place on earth and is 400 meters below sea level (my salt shaker container is 3 times the size of my sunscreen container so as you can imagine, I am in heaven. But Jen has forbidden me to suck on the salt). Floating in the heavy water feels like lolling around in a gigantic pool of expensive skin exfoliating bath oil. The amount of salt in the water makes sinking impossible and it leaves an oily residue on the skin that is impossible to dry, but at the same time, softens the skin. The salt also makes us acutely aware of every little abrasion on our battle worn bodies.
Our journey of 1000 km has become a journey of 1000 feet. We look at the water from our tent and gear up for the trip to the shore (it’s only a few hundred feet). We pack our lunch, take everything we need for the day, because, God forbid, we don’t want to make the journey twice. With my stilted waddle and Jen’s limp, both of us relying heavily on our poles, we hobble along like a couple of tired old donkeys. When we reach the water, we build a makeshift sun shelter by tying my large scarf to our poles and then collapse for the day in the hard salt sparkled sand. When the sun is low in the sky, we start the long journey back to the tent. How far the mighty have fallen.
We will stay here for another day of rest, immersing ourselves in the waters of the Dead Sea in the hope that it’s unique minerals will work magic on our broken down bits. So far, it hasn’t had much effect. Jennifer’s knee shows little sign of improvement and is discouraging for her. My ankles are not faring much better. It’s a unique situation for both of us, as Jen has never had a knee issue, nor I a weak Achilles. We don’t know how or why it happened and that it happened to both at the same time is bizarre.
Also this week my daughter, Sabrina, slipped on ice while running to work and broke her ankle to the point where she needs surgery. What crazy forces are at work here?