Les Reves Perdus – click any image for full size
Les Reves Perdus (“Dreams Lost”) is a public homestead region designed by Chanell (zaziaa), which Caitlyn and I were drawn to visiting after seeing a photo by Wurfi, a fellow photographer and blogger. Described as “an original world of dreams and creativity, with the atmosphere of nature,” it is a place visitors are invited to enjoy and photograph, and it does indeed present a relaxing landscape in which to wander and spend time.
Placing the region is a little hard; there is a touch of provincial France about it, together with a little twist of Tuscany, thanks to the villa occupying part of the region. The low-lying parts of the island, however, could be representative of just about any temperate coastal / marshland area in the world. Nevertheless, the theme works, and everything comes together to create a charming, photogenic scene.
A visit starts on the low-lying part of the island, at the end of a dirt track which gently undulates along an avenue of trees, leading the way to a set of stone steps which rise to the highland reaches of the region, of which more anon.
Mostly grass-covered, this lowland is home to grazing sheep and horses, with the greenery broken up by bright splashes of rapeseed and wild flowers. It is also split into two, linked via stone and log bridges, with some marshy outlying areas sitting a short distance across the water to the north and north-west. Over the bridges, the land is more divided between grass and sand, the former giving way to a widening arc of the latter, offering plenty of places to sit and enjoy the view out over the open waters to a sailing ship lying off the coast, or inland over a shallow bay, fed in part by a horseshoe waterfall, to the cliffs of the highlands.
A lone outcrop of rock rises from the south-eastern end of the beach, a wooden cabin sitting on its flat top. A rope bridge spans the narrow neck of water separating it from a promontory on which sits another cabin, the two offering a cosy place for couples. From here, it is possible to climb up onto the higher ground – but I don’t recommend it: there is neither a path for doing so, nor is the immediate landscape designed to be seen from this side.
Instead, the best way to appreciate the upland area is via the track and stone stairs near the landing point. These will take you up to a broad, largely flat plateau where the Tuscan villa sits, a tide of wild grass and rapeseed washing around it and held at bay from reaching the pool in front of the villa by bushes and bright flowers. Deer roam this wild garden, while the villa’s dining room is set for a formal meal, and its outhouse offers a lounge area with light refreshments. Climb the stairs of the villa, and you’ll enter the realm of an artist, whilst beyond the walls of the villa, the land grows wild on one side, and offers a small orchard on the other, an old pick-up truck offering another place for couples to snuggle.
Les Reves Perdus makes for a charming visit, and the default windlight offers plenty of scope for photographs and the region as a whole presents plenty of scope for those who like to use their preferred windlights or like to experiment. This is an ideal place to visit if you’re seeking some quiet time on your own or with a friend. Caitlyn and I took certainly found it relaxing to sit on a hammock chatting, while looking out over the water to where the little folly sits amidst the pinks and greens of the marshy outlands.
- Les Reves Perdus (Borneo Isle, rated: Adult)