Soul2Soul River – click any image for full size
In January, MiaRiche Resident dropped me a line inviting Caitlyn and I to visit Soul2Soul River, a public / private homestead region designed and operated by Minnie Blanco (Minnie Atlass). It’s actually one of two Homestead regions Minnie has landscaped and offers for both public visits and private rentals, the other being Soul2Soul Bay. Both are inspired by part of Minnie’s native England – and as such, have a particular attraction for Caitlyn and I.
Minnie describes Soul2Soul River as a reflection of the Thames River – although those unfamiliar with the full length of Old Father Thames may not recognise this at first glance, the Thames being popularly associated with London more than anywhere else. However, as the longest river rising and flowing entirely through England, it has many faces, its youngest being in Cotswolds district of Gloucestershire where the Thames rises – and it is this which forms the inspiration for Soul2Soul River.
Given that Second Life regions are relatively small, representing a decent stretch of a river running through them isn’t easy without introducing a lot of twists and turns – and potentially reducing the width of the river itself, making it less of a focus. Minnie has sought to avoid this by dividing the region into four parts split by water. This way, when exploring, one can get the feeling of looking and walking along three stretches of a single river.
A visit starts at a small village landing point which might be referred to as “classically Cotswold”. Thatched cottages sit alongside a countryside pub, overlooking a stretch of river guarded by willows and bordered by reeds and flowers. A bridge spans the water to where a footpath runs around the south side of the land, offering a riverbank walk which loops back to a path cutting over the hill to the far side, and another bridge linking to the western side of the region – which is home to one of the rental properties, so please keep privacy in mind if you cross the bridge.
A second path runs along the riverbank on the far side of the river to the village, offering views back towards the bridge and pub. It’s open to the public, but be aware that again it does run around to rental properties. Further retails are scattered along river banks, all positioned so that they can enjoy a degree of privacy from one another, and with enough room between them to offer space to explore.
Soul2Soul Bay takes its inspiration from the Cornish coastline, offering a little beach bay and a village – which again forms the landing point, complete with old chapel on the hill. A track runs down the hill from the village to the beach front and the sweeping curve of the bay’s C. The sand here offers a route around the region, passing the scattered rental properties.
Getting around on foot is easy, but for those who prefer, there is a bicycle rezzer opposite the post office (rentals office) allowing visitors to take a ride around the region’s public areas. There are also several places to sit and rest from walking or riding, including on a number of rowing boats moored in the bay and deck chairs in the sand.
Visiting both Soul2Soul regions, I admit to being a little more attracted to Soul2Soul River – but this is primarily because I have an affinity for the Cotswolds, and really enjoyed the views along the river. The truth is both Soul2SoulRiver and Soul2Soul Bay are picturesque and make for a relaxing visit. Those looking for a home within themed regions might also find them well worth a visit, while photographers will find both regions attractive to their cameras.