NonStop – click any image for full size
NonStop, a homestead region by Cherish Demonge, is presented as “Second Life’s ultimate forest”. I’d personally regard the setting as more coastal / rural than “forest” – while there are trees aplenty, they mostly look and feel more like woodland, occupying the more rugged parts of the region and offering pleasant glades and walks between them, while leaving the low-lying parts of the region open for habitation.
Be this as it may, there is no denying the region is beautifully put together with an eye for detail, presenting visitors with plenty to see and enjoy.
A visit begins in a little hamlet surrounded on three sides by rocky plateaus, and on the forth by an inlet with a narrow channel beyond, leading between distant peaks to the open sea. Wooden decking has been built out over the water from the narrow footpaths in front of the hamlet’s buildings, offering a makeshift town square – a meeting point for new arrivals.
This would seem to be an eco-conscious community: rising from the waters of the inlet are the slender fingers of wind turbines, their blades quietly turning. North-east of the hamlet lies a small farm, sheep grazing on tall grass, hay neatly baled, and a little market shack sitting at the end of the unpaved road leading out to it. Three more wind turbines sit out in the waters to the north, indifferent to the wreck of a fishing boat beneath them, or the second boat lying at anchor.
Facing the farm across another inlet, this one watched over by a squat lighthouse, sits a camp site amidst the trees at the top of one of the plateaus. Reached via a set of stone steps set into the blunt shoulders of the rocks, it offers a setting which feels genuinely isolated and forest-like.
To the west, and reach via a set of wrought iron gates, a cobbled path leads the way to a little trailer park. Or, if you prefer, a board walk hugs the foot of another plateau, pointing the way south to where a long-abandoned chapel sits on a tiny breach of land rising from the water, its only company an ancient tree and tall wild flowers.
Northwards, beyond the rocks safeguarding the trailer park, the woodland marches up the slope of a hill denuded of grass, sandy earth laid bare, reflecting the autumnal hue of the leaves on the trees. A similar stretch of sandy earth lies to the west as well, more golden-leaved trees marching across it and over the flat top of the rocky uplands it abuts.
Caught in a late summer or early autumn frame, complete with matching windlight, NonStop really is picturesque and decidedly eye-catching. There are numerous places throughout where people can sit and chat or play games, as couples or in groups. There are also indoor spaces to explore – such as the houseboat alongside of the hamlet, although there are one or two little oddities to be found as well, adding a touch of cursory intrigue to the little town.
Adult rated, NonStop can be the home of some colourful language among the locals, but is nevertheless welcoming and more than worth the time needed to explore. My thanks, as ever, to Shakespeare for the pointer!
- NonStop (NonStop, rated: Adult)