Update, November 13th: Cloudbreak appears to have closed, and all SLurls have been removed from this article. My thanks to Miro Collas for letting me know.
Cloudbreak is the all-encompassing name for two regions – one Full (Cloudbreak), the other a Homestead (Cloudbreak II) – offering visitors a taste of “an Indonesian inspired surfers’ paradise”, and both are very well put together to offer a nicely immersive environment.
Designed by Leaf (Peyton Darmoset) under the dirty.pretty banner she runs with partner Julz (Juliette Rainfall), the two regions have a distinctly north-south / east-west design, the land running down the eastern sides of the two regions, their western sides being open to the sea. The land itself is primarily rugged territory, backing directly on to the mountainous sim surround that greatly heightens the feeling that this is a remote coastal area in the world’s largest archipelago nation. To the west, the land drops sharply away to the water, a ribbon of sand winding up along the coast under the constant bombardment of a rolling tide of breakers.
The “official” (although not enforced) landing point lies to the south-east of the landscape, well up into the rocky terrain. It’s worth starting your visit here, rather than simply dropping in anywhere on the map, as it really provides the best sense of immersion in the environment whilst exploring – plus there’s also a good chance a “blind” teleport will either drop you in the sea or possibly into one of the private rental properties to be found to the south and north. The landing point also provides information on the rentals, as well as on a local photography contest (running until August 3rd and with some impressive L$ prizes, as well as encompassing the regions of Ash Falls (read here for my July 2017 review of the region) and Erebos Harbor, also operated under the dirty.pretty banner).
Stone steps, guarded by small stupa-like objects, lead the way down into the richly forested landscape, where trails and wooden walkways offer a variety of paths to explore. Some of these run between the rugged highlands, others offer a way down through them. Some keep to the eastern extremes of the regions, others offer the way to cross to the west side before descending to the beaches. Two of the more impressive of these is a zip line that runs from the highest accessible point to the east down to a platform on the west side of a deep gorge, where (for those prepared to jump) a rocky path winds down under a great table-like slab of rook to reach the sands of the coast.
For those who don’t fancy the sliding and jumping, the second option is to follow the wooden walkways and steps that offer a way across the upper end of the gorge, close to a high waterfall, and a single bridge from which is suspended three great copper bells to join the path down the west side of the gorge, and thence to the beach.
Take the trails south or north along the rugged uplands, and you will eventually come to the rental properties. The northern most of these had, at the time of our visit, a rather aggressive security system (5 second warning prior to teleport to the edge of the parcel) and no sign to indicate it was private property – so care when approaching these might be advisable.
There are also public areas along the highlands as well, so don’t let the thought of security systems put you off. Perhaps the most prominent of these public spaces sits upon the great slab of rock mentioned above, and under which the waters of the gorge flow into the sea. Looking west to where Buddha sits atop a rocky island, it offers a cooling pool of water in which to relax and shades places to sit and cuddle. Elsewhere can be found camp sites and shaded wooden platforms, on which to sit and rest.
Those wishing to get a closer look at Buddha can do so via raised wooden walkways that reach out over the sea from the beach to his pinnacled seat. These go by way of an off-shore music venue on a sandbar to eventually reach the moorings clustered at the foot of Buddha’s island. The beach itself is broad, the golden sand tingled naturally with hints of pink along the high tide mark. There are rezzers to be found along the sands for those wishing to have a go at surfing (which can be fun), but for me, the most impressive aspect of the beach is the club house area which has clearly been kitbashed by Leaf from assorted sources, the parts brought together to create something genuinely unique and perfectly suited to the environment.
Beautifully conceived and executed, Cloudbreak is a genuine gem of a setting. Stunning in vista, clever in layout, captivating to the eye and the camera (photos are welcome at the dirty.pretty Flickr group). Rezzing rights are available to those who need it by joining the local group. Note that a percentage of the fee paid to join goes towards supporting the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) – an organisation of which I’ve long been a supporter – and dirty.pretty’s adopted Orca, Holly.
With thanks to Shakespeare for the pointer.