May 10, 2016
Drive to the Dead Sea from Madaba
Don and I have seen a lot of desert in recent years and I find the enthusiasm in the Lonely Planet guide book well overstated. This is an interesting but rather bleak drive through brown dirt hills to the sea.
The Bedouin camps and changing rock formations add local color but it is certainly not the breathtaking experience suggested in the guide book. Maybe on a day with a spectacular sky but not in the general haze of late spring.
The Mujib Chalets
Finally we see a stand of green in the distance and chalets along the bank of the sea. On first sight the sand colored chalets, part of the Mujib Biosphere Reserve, look just as bleak as the rest of the desert, however, after some time the place really started to grow on us.
The chalets occupy a finger of land that juts into the sea, offering sunset views over the Promised Land.
They still haven’t finished the complex and are currently digging large holes and putting in better soil, I’m assuming for trees. Currently there is no plant life, other than a few weeds, in the complex but based on the scale of the planting they are doing the area could be quite attractive in the future.
The chalets are simple yet comfortable and include a fridge and full bathroom but only one electrical outlet.
The first row of chalets all have great views of the sea through the sliding glass door to a balcony with a hammock.
Just down from the chalets is a staircase that leads down to the water, with several showers along the bank.
Wifi is available in the dining room but not in the chalets.
A simple buffet is served in the main building for both dinner and breakfast.
Dinner included a selection of fresh vegie salads, bread, two kinds of meat – kaftah and chicken, very little to drink – only one small cup of water and some juice, no desert or coffee. The spread is perfectly fine and nourishing.
Breakfast includes a nice selection of cold items including hummus, vegies, hard boiled eggs and bread. Don’t expect anything very western i.e., no fruit, cereal or milk. Coffee is instant with powdered creamer.
The drawback is that the breakfast service doesn’t start until 8:30AM, so if you want to start the Mujib Siq trail when the office opens at 8:00, you’ll have to do something else for breakfast. The good news was that there were very few tourists here midweek in May and we were the first to arrive at the trail office at just before 9AM.