Before we get back to reporting about Jerusalem, allow me to share just one more thing about my recent visit to Ein Gedi.
It is That's My World Tuesday and I'm wishing my world were still down in the warm Rift Valley instead of up here in presently rainy cold (2 to 5 degrees C) Jerusalem.
We always hear that there are no boats on the Dead Sea because the water is so corrosive.
Some 34% of the water is salt and minerals, i.e. eight times the saltiness of a normal sea.
So what is this boat for, and what is the thing behind it?
Does anyone know? I searched and found no answer.
Certain tiny algae are the only creatures that can survive.
It is only a joke that you can catch salted fish here. :-)
The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth. Its surface is more than 400 meters below sea level.
And this unique body of water is shrinking fast.
Kibbutz Ein Gedi built a spa right on its shore 25 years ago. Today a bather or mudpack-seeker must drive 1.5 kilometers to reach the water.
The sun was just setting and we had to catch the bus back to Jerusalem (the bus climbs 1150 meters in an hour and a half).
But first my hiking friend, visiting from Europe, really needed to go down to the lonely shore and touch the famous Salt Sea waters just one time.
Even though I warned her of this:
Bol'anim! Holes that swallow you!
Look at that warning triangle with a person falling into a pit!
A geologist who was swallowed by a sinkhole himself says there are up to 3,000 open sinkholes along the coast and likely just as many that haven't burst open yet.
UPDATE Feb. 2015: Finally, information (and great photos) about that boat--in The Boston Globe.