Mud Baths and Starry Nights

  • We spent two days in our secluded spa ( 3 night, until March 2) It was refreshing to get away from the commotion of Ein Bokek. We had a load of veggies, a can of tuna and our powdered eggs, which by the way are excellent. We rationed the water. It was impossible to have a fire since the salt encrusted bits of wood and brush would not light. What did we do for two days? We wrote a bit, read, enjoyed the ambiance, rested our knees and ankles. Amazing how persistent these injuries can be. I am noticing, however, that  it is easier to get in and out of my tent. A bit of flexibility is returning at last! Perhaps the mineral pools and salt are helping!! Speaking of the pools, they are HOT  and especially at night for some reason, they bubble more, giving off a pungent sulfur smell. image The peacefulness of the place, the unique scenery inspired me to write some poetry, which I might post when the muse overtakes me.We had great fun plastering ourselves with the medicinal black mud. Arlene sank up to her knees in it on one stretch of the beach. imageIf we weren’t confined to our backpacks, which have negative capacity at the moment,  we could bring back a load of mud for everyone to enjoy!image  It does make your skin soft but the salt water you have to rinse in eliminates the therapeutic effects of the mud. By the time we left we were both feeling quite pickled. imageThe novelty of shrivelled, tight skin and cardboard clothing wore off. Having only a litre of water ( and it was 30c ) and only powdered eggs left, it was time to leave. We packed up and hiked the 2 km back out to the highway. While we were waiting for a ride, a car load of 4 rabbis started down the rocky trail, presumably to the hot pools. Would they  have doffed their black robes and sat in the burbling pools when they discovered our tents?? Mmm, an amusing scenario.

HOW TO ENJOY A NIGHT AT THE CAMP

Watch the sun slip

behind tangerine cliffs,

anticipate their shadows’ embrace.

Lie down on fine gravel,

absorb the stories pressing on your spine.

Hear the surf pulse,

the bubble and pop of sulfuric pools

their milky water tumbling seaward

fracturing boulders, peeling their crystalline skin.

Look into the sky

now pregnant with stars.

Consider new constellations.

Consider how strangers become friends.

In the darkness, feel the sun;

taste the salt in your pores.

Feel the breeze cover you

like a blanket.

Think of your journey:

the people you’ve touched,

the gift of their smiles.

Think how this land has touched you:

how it has captured your breath

and wrapped you with compassion.

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