Late in August we visited – on the recommendation of Miro Collas – Iniquity Constantine’s Homestead region of Summerland. At the time of our visit, Ini described the region as “an idyllic garden where the spirit may rest and rejuvenate,” offering a mix of “pagan, ritual, mythology, mythic … magic, runes, druid, nature, elemental, [and] familiars” in its elements.
These elements are apparent as soon as visitors arrive in the region: the landing point sits within a barn converted into a Wiccan / pagan centre where psychic readings are on offer, and the trappings of Wiccan and magical supplies and symbols are much in evidence.
Outside, a deck extends over coastal waters under a late summer sky as seagulls wheel around in search of a fishy meal. The deck offers place to sit and appreciate the view across the rest of the region and the surrounding (off-sim) hills. This view reveals that the region forms a semi-circle of small islands that form a horseshoe around what is – given the foaming waters – a shallow bay sitting over a broad shelf of rock.
One its western end, this horseshoe bay is watched over by the tall red finger of a lighthouse; at its eastern extent, it is mirrored by a set of horseshoe waterfalls that tumble from the cliffs of the highest island in the curved chain. It is these falls, visible through the haze that draw visitors around the side of the landing point barn to where a wooden bridge offers the way to the next island in the series.
Here lie the first ruins with pagan / druid elements: ancient statues, a broken henge of shaped stones around a hewn alter and reach via a stone arch. Beyond it, a second bridge connects to the tall island, the exploration of which can be split into two parts. Just across the bridge, a set of stone steps climb up the grassy shoulder of the island, while just to the left, through a gap in a broken wooden fence, a ladder offers the first part of a way down to where a shingle beach sits at the base of the island, presenting a path to a little beach house sitting on another deck built out over the waters.
At the top of the stone steps, the upper plateau of the island presents a hazy mix of the pastoral and the pagan / ancient. Horses graze on the long grass, shaded by the island’s woodlands, trees that help hide and disguise the ruins scattered beneath their boughs. These take several forms, including those of a chapel and a much more recent glass-and-metal pavilion that has been turned into a place of meditation.
A path winds across the grassy table of the island, offering a means to see most of the sights whilst pointing the way to where a rocky route drops down to another bridge and also an almost-cave or cavern. As well as providing a means to reach the last two islands in the chain, the low-lying grassy headland provides the means to reach a modern and comfortable orangery – a further place for visitors to sit and rest during a visit to the region.
The two remaining islands offer a further mix of trees, ruins and places to sit and rest or in meditation, all within the region’s sound scape that is, perhaps a little too dominated by the thunder of waterfalls. There is also a little roughness to some of the landscaping with floating bushes and candles here and there, together with some slight alpha issues (sadly common and often unavoidable when combining foliage and off-sim elements), but nothing that excessively gets in the way of appreciating the beauty of the setting, and which certainly don’t interfere with opportunities for photography. Images captured may be shared through the region’s Flickr group.
- Summerland (Margarita Island, rated: Adult)