At the end of August 2019, we dropped into Breath of Nature on the suggestion of Shawn Shakespeare. A homestead region designed by JurisJo, it is a curious region that comes pretty much in two parts.
The western two-thirds of the land present a low-lying pastoral setting, partially split into two smaller islands alongside of the “mainland” area. To the north of the region stands a curtain wall of rock from which waterfalls drop, one set into a pool that feed outwards to the west and south, giving rise to the first of the two smaller islands.
Home to horses and sheep and offering one of several places to dance, this island is otherwise devoid of major signs of human habitation. However, it sits close to the second small island although the two are not directly connected. Instead, moving between them is by way of two bridges and one of a number of tracks the cross the bulk of the land.
Walking this path presents a picturesque view of the thatched cottage and windmill occupying the second island. Flat except for a single hill on which sits a lone tree, the island presents the cottage and windmill in a picturesque setting as they reside in the long grass. Together, cottage and mill look north over the rest of the land and offer a farm-like feel, and across the water, the open fields and tracks add to this, as do the cattle, sheep, pick-up truck and wagon that can be found there.
The eastern, and smaller side of the region is far more tropical in looks. Sitting a short distance from the main landing point, it presents a beach setting, complete with tiki huts, a freshwater swimming pool and more places to sit or dance. It is also split into two by a sandy-bottomed stream that flows outwards from the second set of waterfalls that drop from the high curtain wall of cliffs. Crossed by a single wooden bridge, the stream allows the north side of the beach forms a sandy headland running out from the lee of the cliffs and capped by one of the region’s two lighthouses.
This tropical setting is very different to the rest of the region; it is as if by merely stepping through the gap in the cliffs that separate the two, one is striding across the world, for temperate to tropical, the archway standing over the path connecting them being a portal of transfer.
I admit that the tropical element of the region, with its golden sands, tiki huts and palm trees sat a little oddly to me during our visits. Not that there are any significant issues with the landscaping or design; just that of the two sides of the region, I instinctively felt more at home in the more temperate side, amidst the grasses and tracks, whilst wandering between the stone-built watermill – long since converted into a luxury home – and the cottage and windmills, and following the tracks to see where they might lead.
But whether your presence is for idyllic countryside scenes that might have slipped out of a Constable painting or for the sandy delights of a tropical haven, Breath of Nature offers the chance to enjoy both. And with plenty of places available through to either to sit and relax or enjoy a dance, it has plenty to offer visitors who drop in.