We started the day with a visit to Masada, the fortress of King Herod, along the Dead Sea. We took a cable car ride to the top, but that was the end of the site seeing for me. I am having problems with the cyst on my spine, yes the one they drained less than a month ago! The cyst has filled again evidently. It started to bother me a few days ago and has gradually gotten to the point where I can’t stand or walk for a very long period of time without sitting for a bit. This was a site that would take about an hour, so I wasn’t able to see the site.
Nearby, we stopped at the site of Ein Gedi, mentioned in Joshua, 1 Samuel, 2 Chronicles, and Ezekiel. I sat out that site as well.
Next, we visited Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. I watched the video they show before you go through the site, but didn’t actually go through.
Our last stop was for a float in the Dead Sea! I DID THIS! It was a fun experience. Getting into the Sea was not easy! The mud shore is very slippery and uneven. As we were walking in, holding on to each other so we didn’t fall, I got to a point where my foot went all the way in up to my knee! You’re not really stuck and I actually just turned toward the shore and sat down. The area around me was not very deep – just my foot was deep in the mud! We figured out it was easier to sit, face the shore, and kind of lobster crawl backward to get into the Sea. You don’t worry about looking silly here, everyone looks silly and are either trying to get in, trying to get out, or is smearing themselves with mud! Once you get out to where you can’t touch, you just ‘hang out’ there. You don’t have to tread water and if you want you can put your feet up! Your body just tips back a bit and it is like you are sitting in a recliner in the water. You can figure out pretty easy how to set yourself back up. It was a fun, unique, once in a lifetime experience. Oh and your skin is so soft after your ‘mud bath’!!
If I was going to have to sit a day out of some activities, this was the ideal day for that to happen. I was really emotional about the thought of being in Israel and not being able to do and see the things I wanted to do here, and being tired from lack of sleep due to pain was not helping that thought. But God answered our prayers and provided a solution that will allow me to get though the rest of the trip with minimal or no pain! Praise the Lord!
Everyone is having a great time and enjoying this life changing pilgrimage! I am so thankful for the wonderful, caring people I have the pleasure of sharing this time with. Many have become friends! I am also so grateful for my Pastor and his wife Melinda. They have blessed my life in ways I would never have expected!