Saturday, December 04, 2004


Half an hour after returning from Holland I got a phone call asking me to fly to Jordan the next day. I took a flight from Birmingham via Schiphol to Amman. Here I stopped the night in a very spacious but very cold staff house owned by our client. The next morning I was driven to the rig which was drilling next to the Dead Sea near Ghor Mazra'a 400m below sea level. It was much warmer here and I found my co-workers Neil and Inayat working when I arrived. I helped until I ran out of steam and fell asleep. The next day was spent checking our memory kit. After dinner, also after dark I decided to walk down to the Dead Sea for a swim. My friends were not interested in a night time trek in unknown territory so I went alone. I went initially to where I thought the nearest water was, only to find out that it was actually extensive mud flats. I followed the edge of the mud flats for an hour until I came to a man made causeway cutting off a section of the Sea. I followed this until I found deep water, waded out and experienced Dead Sea swimming. I found it impossible to swim on the front because I was floating so high that my legs were not submerged when I tried to kick. On my back no movement was necessary at all. Half my body was out of the water, it would have been possible to sleep, staring up at the stars, it was very relaxing. After a while I made my way ashore and got dressed. I did not want to recross the mud flats so I followed a path that headed towards the rig. This took me passed a goatherders encampment where I was set upon by 8 or 9 dogs all yammering at me for being in their territory. They kept there atttack to one of barking, not of biting, but their efforts must have alarmed the goatherder because a shot was fired. I don't believe it came near me, because, although I saw the flash and heard the report I heard no sound of a bullets passage anywhere close. I continued on my way and the dogs eventually gave up, so that I arrived back at the rig safely. A few days later it was decided that I was needed back in England, so on Friday morning I caught a plane home from Amman.


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