My first visit to Matoluta Sanctuary came in July 2014, so it might seem a rather brief period between visits; however there is a reason for my return: on Saturday September 20th at 10:00 SLT, the “new” Matoluta opened its gates to the public.
The Sanctuary is both a role-play environment and a place to promote the conservation of the Colonial Spanish Horse on the North American continent. At the time the Sanctuary originally opened, it comprised a single homestead region. With the re-opening, it will comprise two connected homesteads – but the changes don’t end there.
Matoluta Sanctuary itself, still devoted to the conservation work, now occupies the region Hudhufushi, representing the autumn (fall) and winter seasons. Here, as one explores, the leaves on the trees gradually turn from green to reds and golds, snow lies on the surrounding mesas, and eventually one comes to a wintry snow-covered landscape, where wolves and bears roam.
Matoluta Bay, located on the region of Satre, which formed the Sanctuary’s original home, is dressed in the colours of spring and summer, and retains much of the original Matoluta build: distant surrounding mesas, rocky outcrops, fast-flowing waters and lots of wildlife. Between the two, on the edge of Matoluta Bay, sits a sandy beach where visitors to the Bay arrive.
Between them, the regions offer a range of activities and lots of opportunities for photography, with Matoluta Sanctuary remaining the focal-point for role-play. Visitors are asked to respect the rules for the regions and to remember that most of the horses on Matoluta are avatars, and suitable interaction with them is encouraged (they might even consent to carrying riders, if asked!).
Role-play isn’t a requirement, and visitors are free to roam as they please through until Monday 22nd September, when Matoluta Sanctuary reverts to group access for roleplay. Until then, people can wander freely, sit, enjoy the activities, and simply observe and role-play which might be underway. Those interested in joining the herd and engaging in equine RP can do so by contacting Ursus Broono (also known as Manatou, the herd leader).
I enjoyed my explorations of the updated regions, and there’s sure to be a lot to attract visitors as the gates open.
- Matoluta Sanctuary (Rated: Moderate)
- Matoluta Bay (Rated: Moderate)
- Matoluta Sanctuary website
- Matoluta Flickr Group