A new entry popped-up in the Photogenic Spots of the Destination Guide recently. Bitacora Land is the brainchild of Serenity Goizane, one of the founders of the Spanish SL travelogue, Bitacora Viajera, and the winner of the official SL10B photo contest.
A Homestead region, Bitacora certainly has a lot for the SL traveller to see, all very cleverly presented and offering a range of photo opportunities, as well as featuring a number of very familiar motifs and objects for those who do spend a fair amount of time exploring Second Life.
The arrival point delivers you to a clifftop picnic area with a nearby barn / stables. This overlooks a small village square which in turn overlooks a quayside and some sail boats nestled in a sheltered harbour. An opening in the ground, while somewhat grave-like in appearance, leads to a network of tunnels which can be used to reach various parts of the region, including the village square by means of actually walking under it and then flying / jumping up a set of quayside steps. Or, if you’re feeling energetic, you can scramble down the cliff-side and slide down the roof of one of the buildings :).
The village square offers itself as a place to meet friends and sit and chat. Unusually, none of the buildings are shops or stores (they are all shells backing into the surrounding cliffs). and the square offers an eclectic set of photo opportunities. Gates at one end lead to a little children’s play area.
Follow the tunnels to their various destinations and you’ll find a number of beaches, each with its own little theme – such as one featuring a disco and live music stage, another with a beach house standing out over the water, surf boards propped up against it, and so on.
Above ground, things are equally interesting, with high cliffs and mesa connected by wooden bridges (in places), with a church and balloon ride atop one, the aforementioned barn on another and a hot air balloon on another together with some chairs suspended under what I assume to be helium-filled balloons for the daring!
The high lie of the land has echoes of a number of places I’ve visited recently, all of which seem to be taking the land upwards to create gorges and valleys into which the designer then builds, Wendy Xeno’s Hazardous perhaps being the most popular example. Here, the approach is enhanced through the use of Grand Canyon sim surround which works very well with the overall design of the region, and gives a good deal of additional natural depth to the build.
There are echoes of other regions as well; perhaps the most obvious being the name of the region appearing in large stone letters overlooking the village square, which is very mindful of the big SMILE standing on It All Starts with a Smile. Railway tracks leading out into the water also remind one of other popular places the seasoned SL traveller may well have come across.
Which is not to say that Bitacora is merely an ad-hoc series of ideas copied from other regions. Everything here comes together, albeit a little haphazardly, into a complete whole which is unique unto itself. As such, the echoes of other regions and places in SL are, I think it fair to say, intended as little homages rather than attempts to copy. Hence the use of balloons in the stone-carved name, or the positioning of the little trawler at the end of the railway line leading out into one of the region’s bays.
I would perhaps have liked to see more means by which one could get to see all the various parts of the region without the need to resort to flying – there are some cliff-top aspects which appear to be inaccessible unless you do fly – but this is just a quibble on my part, and if you have a look beforehand, any flying can be kept to a minimum and leave you with plenty still to explore using your pedal extremities.
All-in-all an interesting place to visit, with plenty of opportunities for the photographer, and more than a few places for the romantics to sit and enjoy one another’s company, and for the gregarious to meet others.
- Bitacora Land main SLurl (Rated: Moderate)
- Bitacora Land village square
- Bitacora Viajera website
- SL Destinations in this blog
(view slideshow full-screen)