Follow Your Bliss – click any image for full size
For those seeking a little escape from the rush of life and a chance to recall memories of summer holidays long ago, a visit to Follow Your Bliss might be just the ticket. This homestead region is the vision of Elizabeth (ElizabethNantes) with assistance from Omkara (kazu Koray), and it is an absolute delight to visit, explore and photograph.
Resembling an archipelago, the region offers a chain islands surrounding a shallow, sandy-bottomed bay. Of varying sizes, the islands are protected on their northern flank by a natural rocky breakwater against which waves crash, the remaining compass points offering relatively unobstructed access to the sea.
Directly behind the breakwater, and curving gently around the north and east sides of the region, is a chain of mostly low-lying islands linked one to another by a series of bridges. These present a sunny walk through knee-high grass, over warm beaches and across the bridges to reach either a final low-lying sand bar, or in an eastwards turn and across the sturdiest of the bridges, access to the largest and tallest of the islands.
Each of the islands offers something of its own to occupy visitors: places to cuddle, places to sit and while away the time watching the tide or in conversation, swings on which to have a little fun, shady sports and shacks and cabins in which to escape the light of the sun. Two of the latter sit upon the largest of the islands, a twisting climb of stone steps linking them. One is a two-storey cement structure at the foot of the island’s main hill, the other a wood framed atelier perched on the top of the hill, with commanding views all around.
The atelier in particular attracted me, not only because it is a design I like, but also because of the beautiful map of Sir Lanka (then Ceylon), dating from the 1690s and the period of the Dutch Governorate. With north to the left and east at the top, the map makes for an interesting view of the island, the names the Dutch offered for places I’ve been fortunate enough to visits as exotic as their Sinhalese equivalents: Anurodgburro (Anuradhapura). Trinkinmaly (Trincomalee), Battacilow (Batticaloa), and so on.
In order to reach the remaining islands in the group, visitors have a choice: swim, take one of the rezzable paddle boats available from the dock near the landing point, or join the local group and avail themselves of one of the group motorboats. Flying is also an option – but to do so isn’t really in keeping with the spirit of exploration.
These islands, to the west of the region, between them offer more places to relax, including a charming little café and a touch of the oriental. In all, Follow Your bliss is aptly named; exploring the islands, it is easy, even natural, to leave worries and cares behind and simply enjoy the carefree bliss offered by the region, and all under an almost tropical sky.
- Follow Your Bliss (Rated: Moderate)