Getting to the lowest point on Earth is a quick 45 minute drive from Amman along the Dead Sea highway. While it is a nice 4 lane road there are a few hazards to watch out for:
- Speed Bumps. In the middle of the highway. Not a joke – if you see everyone braking for no apparent reason, the reason is speed bumps.
- Markets/Picnics/Shops more or less ON the road. Especially on Fridays expect to contend with people walking right on the road as you pass through towns.
- Serious elevation changes. We are talking ears popping like you are on a plane changes. Remember, you are heading (or leaving) the lowest point on Earth!
- In addition to remembering some chewing gum for the trip, utilize your vehicle’s lower gears when descending. This will avoid the need to ride the brakes all the way down (which can cause them to smoke and burn out- last thing you want when traversing elevation is no brakes!)
- Random checkpoints. It’s common to see police standing on the side of the road holding a small “stop sign.”. If they wave the sign in your direction, don’t panic! Slow down, pull over as instructed and roll down your window. They will ask you for your papers and where you are headed. Be nice, answer the questions and you should be on your way in no time!
- Other drivers. I’ll dedicate a separate post to driving in the Middle East (which I happen to love but recognize it can be challenging) but a few notes: lanes are a suggestion, drivers are often distracted (by the view, their phone, other passengers) and turning left from the far right lane or vice versa is common place.
In short, drive defensively and pay attention!
Drive safe my friends!