Finding peace in a Quiet Wilderness

Quiet Wilderness
Quiet Wilderness

I came across Quiet Wilderness, located on the homestead region of Almourol, entirely by chance. Group owned, the About Land tab describes it as “a quiet and peaceful place to relax, sit by the campfire, walk around or take a canoe ride”, and it is quite simply lovely.

You arrive up on a hill – not at the top, but about half-way up – overlooking lowlands on either side, with a river looping lazily through. There are no houses here – not on the ground, at least – and everything other than a fenced crop of wheat is an open wilderness with tall trees, woodlands, open meadows and a number of trails to be followed.

The hill on which you arrive rises to split the region pretty much in two, and  – in keeping with a number of places I’ve visited of late – is itself split by a deep river gorge, this one spanned by a natural stone bridge.

QW-17_002
Quiet Wilderness

The hill also acts as a natural source for the river, with waterfalls on either side of the rocky hillside tumbling down to feed two small lakes which are in turn connected by the river’s meandering.

To the west is a lush, low-lying woodland, bordering the sea, and which has hints of a wetland area. One branch of the river exits to the sea here, and the shadows between the tall tree trunks provide hiding places for some of the region’s resident wildlife. A cobbled paths wanders into the woods from the north-west shoulder of the hill and branches just under their broad canopy, with one arm leading back out over a wooden bridge to the coastal grasslands, the other winding deeper under the trees and it’s worth following it to find a couple more little landmarks.

Wildlife is very much in evidence across the region, with birds, waterfowl, deer and more – although you might have to again keep your eyes open to see all of it. As well as the wildlife, sheep also graze peacefully, watched over by the resident dogs, Dandy and Chi.

Quiet Wilderness
Quiet Wilderness

The park-like, natural ambience of the region is enhanced by the placement of a couple of canoe rezzers. These allow you to explore the island from the river, including travelling through the gorge, which has its own waterfalls splashing down from either wall.

If you have music streaming enabled, one thing to watch out for is that the region is split two, parcel-wise, each with it’s own media streaming. Both streams are actually very listenable and suit the environment; they do, however clash a little as you move between the parcels, and it can be a little disconcerting having Johnny Cash telling you his woes where a split second before you were lost in the gentle sounds of a harp.

Don’t let the misty look of some of my shots fool you, either; the region is far from dim or misty. It’s just that the wide open, natural spaces encourage Windlight fiddling rather a lot, and I played around trying to get shots which might evoke and early morning feel (as well as going for late afternoon shots, which I confess in summer / autumn is my favourite time of day).

Quiet Wilderness
Quiet Wilderness

Once you’re done wandering, there are several places to relax and simply watch the world go by, or the tide ebb and flow. You can float on a raft on one of the lakes, climb up to a tree platform, sit at a campsite or rest at one of several platforms around the hill sides. If the mood takes you, you can sit by the side of the water and play a grand piano. That you’ll be a virtuoso is guaranteed; the piano is from Musical Alchemy, and Persephone Milk includes a superb selection of pieces in her pianos. There are even chairs set out for an appreciative audience…

Whether you travel to Quiet Wilderness on your own or with a friend or two makes no difference, it is a place which can be enjoyed as much shared with others as it can be when on wandering with just your own thoughts for company. And should you want to put the rest of Second Life out of mind for a while and just lose yourself in music and scenery, it could be precisely what the doctor ordered.

Given the nature of the region, rather than simply closing with another photo before the slide show, I’d leave you with a piece by John Schmitt of The Piano Guys, which I think is equally appropriate.

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