I was thinking about our stop by the Dead Sea, or “any old stupid pond” as Liz put it, and recalled one of Ruth’s days in the Holy Land in comparison. How could ours be so grueling and theirs ever so gay?
“Jericho, February 14, 1908
“Up at 5:45 [!] this morning and off for Jericho. Cold and showery. Saw the town of Bethany in the distance, the place where David hid from Saul, the spot where the good Samaritan’s episode took place and the brook dividing Judea from Benjamin. Had a good view of the Dead Sea, the spring that Elisha purified with salt, the Mount of Temptation, the place where two ravens fed Elijah, the Brook of Cherith and the place where the old walls of Jericho were supposed to have been.
“Had lunch in Jericho and then had a fine drive to the River Jordan. We were accompanied by Bedouins as bodyguards, and they were a fierce-looking lot. Forded the Brook of Cherith twice―most exciting. The country is rolling and rocky, and the hills are covered with flowers. The area is not fertile except around the city of Jericho.
“Some Englishmen raised a row this morning about their dragoman [translator], and this afternoon Mr. Wylie deserted them and rode with us. Our driver presented me with a ring―a jolly good fellow, always good-natured.
“This afternoon one carriage broke down near the Good Samaritan inn, and one got stuck in the Brook of Cherith. We had a fine race with two Bedouins going to Jordan. Mother filled her bottle with Jordan water, and all got covered with mud on its banks. A fine day, all in all, and a long one.”
So maybe we were poor sports after all for not wading around in the Dead Sea.
And now a little gimme: one of the postcards I didn’t include in the book. Note the caption:
Ahh, an excellent candidate for Shack ‘n’ Shed magazine. Maybe I’ll include this one after all.