Visiting Garrigua in Second Life

Garrigua, February 2020 – click any image for full size

Garrigua is a relatively new Full private region leveraging the full region land capacity bonus to present both an environment open to exploration and to offer a limited number of private rentals.

The region is apparently intended to offer a slice of southern France, although many of the houses found within it have something of a Tuscan lean – but are not out-of-place in doing so. Designed by Terry Fotherington, famous for the Kekeland / Bar Deco settings, the region offers something of an echo of one of his Keleland iterations along its north and south waterfronts – which also is not to say it is any way a copy of that build; the similarity being gained through the bright colours of the south side buildings and the harbour areas they overlook, and the north side off-shore mooring with their sail boats.

Garrigua, February 2020

The landing point is on a south-side road that cuts canyon through the aforementioned town houses and places of business, some of which separate the street from the beach and waterfront. Some of these building form a courtyard around a square garden, with the seaward side buildings of the courtyard sitting atop the region’s sea wall, and home to a bar and café that offer a view out to sea and the harbour to the west.

A place of business, the harbour offers fuelling and repairs for small boats and is home to a small marine research unit. It is overlooked to the west by a small headland camp site.

Garrigua, February 2020

The north side of of the region appears to be where the rental properties are located – three on the waterfront to the east, separated from the sea by a ribbon of wave-eroded land that might form a beach at low tide, while the fourth sits offshore as a walled villa, complete with its own landing for boats. Between the waterfront houses and villa sits a wooden pier with shallow water moorings for sailing boats watched over by one of the region’s three lighthouses.

A dirt track runs east to west across these north side lowlands to connect with a paved road that links to the southern aspects of the setting and the inland uplands and north side of the island. Rising from behind the three rental houses, ir separates them from a privately-held farm on its other side. Another farm sits to the west, but appears to be open to the public, the meadow around the two farm houses rich in lavender.

Garrigua, February 2020

As is always the case with Terry’s designs, there is a huge amount packed into this region: there are numerous places to sit and pass the time; cars and scooters and bike sit along the streets, giving a sense of the comings and goings of life; the way the roads all lead to a tunnel that emerges from the central uplands, suggesting the region is connected to somewhere else beyond the far end of the tunnel.

A stream also tumbles from these central uplands, running westwards to meet the sea, partially dissecting the region with rocky rapids. Other natural touches include the sheep wandering across the road, bringing local traffic to a temporary halt; donkeys stand in a field watching the comings and goings along the farm track whilst geese no doubt tease them with occasion honks as they wander by, unhampered by the fences that hold the Donkeys in place.

Garrigua, February 2020

There is a subtle sense of age to the region as well: the local bus stop is little more than a corrugated tin shell, its paint slowly losing the battle with rust and held up by a wooden frame, while the carcasses of rusting vehicles can be found peppered across parts of the region, some turned into cuddle spaces, others left to turn to dust. Most striking of all is the old villa sitting towards the centre of the region.

Aged, plaster falling from the walls, the villa is dominated by a tree within its courtyard that has been left to its own devices for so long, it is starting to push against the walls. The rooms are similarly losing their battle with nature, with even a sapling taking root to push its way up through the floor ad seek the Sun by forcing its way through boards that once blocked a window before succumbing to death, leaving bare branches grasping outwards. All of which makes for a perfect location for photography.

Garrigua, February 2020

Given the volume of mesh and textures in the region, movement around it can be subject to performance issues, particularly if there is a reasonable number of avatars present – so be prepared to make adjustments to your viewer settings if you find things a little heavy going.  However, the region makes for a picturesque, photogenic visit.

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