Update: Neva River is currently closed to public access.
I covered Neva River very briefly last year. The region is Neva Crystall’s private home, and every so often she will remodel it and then open it to the public for a couple of weeks, so that everyone can enjoy her builds – anyone who has visited Neva River will know why.
I recently saw word via Ziki Questi that Neva was moving towards re-opening the region. Since then, I’ve been waiting (not a little impatiently, I admit – along with a lot of other people!) for the doors to once again open.
Well, on March 20, the doors did open!
This is inevitably going to lead to a stampede to get to Neva River – indeed, but the time I got there, the place was fairly teeming with people; it’s a measure of the popularity of Neva’s builds. If you have 30-40 minutes some time in the next couple of weeks, I urge you to join the queue, particularly if you are, to borrow from Honour McMillan, a landscape junkie.
Last time around, the region focused on a water theme, with low sandbanks, waterlogged copses and small fields of grass beneath an orange sky. This time, Neva has gone for something far more undulating, but with a few little eclectic twists. From coastal beaches through rural country to deep gorges, with high bridges, meandering streams, and broad lakes, Neva River presents a landscape which offers much to see, and not a few things to do.
Starting at the tall lighthouse, located at the headland at one end of the region, you can follow wooden walkways, paths and rutted tracks across the region, encountering other visitors, the local animals (mostly sheep) and various delights and oddities which make a visit to Neva River something of an exploration (just how did a fishing boat end up so land-locked…?).
The region come with its own late afternoon windlight setting, but as is my wont, I opted to go for my “standard” settings, based around a couple of windlight presents I’ve slightly tweaked, and which I like as I feel they give a more natural look and feel to places (one is actually my default viewer’s standard windlight setting nowadays). If the images here don’t do the build justice, blame me, not Neva Crystall!
I will confess that I had a few problems during my wanderings through the region. However, I think these were pretty much down to the fact that the place is rather busy, people-wise, right now and the fact that I’m using a pre-release of a viewer, so SL is a little bit on the bumpy side for me right now.
All-in-all the rebuild has been worth the wait; once again Neva River is on the list of “must places” to visit in SL – but those wishing to do so had best hurry; the doors may not be open for ever!
- Neva River: where thoughts drift (July 2012)