Okay, I’ve reached the dead sea – just about to go and test its buoyancy – then I’ll be heading for the Israeli border to visit Jerusalem. After that, off into the desert to Petra. Wi-fi is not exactly prevalent here and I’ve yet to work out how to ward off the plague of flies determined to settle on me, but the people seem charming and my current hotel is a style we might call ’70s Monumental’…sort of Arabia designed by Albert Speer.
Okay, that was weird. The image of a man reading a newspaper while bobbing about in the Dead Sea turns out to be accurate. It’s impossible to swim in as you just stick half out of the water, and it tastes absolutely disgusting. Great crusted cakes of salt sit glittering around the edge of the sea. You can also coat yourself in viscous black mud with healing properties – I did this earlier and it made my skin go tingly and very soft.
I’ve embarked upon TE Lawrence’s ‘The Seven Pillars Of Wisdom’ and have to say it’s a very strange read, as he chooses to tackle the subject of soldier sex before even embarking upon the Palestinian campaign. Can’t see myself making my way through it, frankly.