The start of February saw me hop over to tour Dya OHare’s latest design at her homestead region after receiving an invitation from her to do so. It’s a setting that sees Dya move away from the Americas, which have been a focus for her last two designs (see: Dya’s Scent of the Caribbean in Second Life and Dya’s Southern Twilight), and instead turn to the Middle East for inspiration.
As its name suggestions, Dya’s Little Jordan is a take on the Kingdom of Jordan, and it has quite a lot to offer Second Life photographers. However, I’ll state up-front that, thanks to past idiocy on the part of some visiting Dya’s builds, group membership (L$300, so not a fortune) is now required to access Dya’s region, so do keep that in mind. I’ll also confess that Jordan isn’t a country with which I’m overly familiar outside of reading about it, so I have no idea whether the entire setting is drawn from actual places to be found in that country, or just parts of it are, and the rest is down to Dya’s imagination.
The landing point is located in a small waterfront area, the open waters before it suggestive, perhaps of the Dead Sea rather than the river Jordan itself. Here, with a souk to attract tourists, the promise of coffee and sea food all separated from the water by a curtain of palm trees, visitors might wander or sit, boats bobbing on the water just across the road.
The southern end of this road ends at a small motel, the hard surface giving way to a beach backed by a number of house built to traditional designs, but with modern trappings that include – for one at least – a swimming pool. Behind these houses sits a more desert-like landscape that runs eastwards away from the town, and northward behind it.
A second road cuts through this desert, vanishing into a tunnel on the east side of the region, where an off-region surround takes over, extending the rugged landscape off to the horizon. Between the hills and the town, this desert area offers several points of interest, from dun-coloured houses belonging to the local livestock farmers, and the region’s take on the Al-Khazneh mausoleum in Petra, which lies tucked away behind curtains of rock that form narrow defiles that must be travelled to reach it.
Elsewhere awaiting discovery is a camp site of traditional tents and, a little surprisingly, a trio of balloons that float within wind-blown sands and offer swings on which to sit as little shooting stars whip past. Goats and sheep are to be found across the landscape, together with a small train of dromedary camels.
Those who fancy may also find camel rezzers that allow them to take a ride around the region, whilst for the less adventurous, a little jeep rezzer offer the means to go for a drive and a bicycle rack at the information centre will provide visitors with a pedal bike. Dya also allows those with wearable horses, etc., to mount up and see the region by hoof or wheel. The information centre also provides a very short introduction to the Kingdom of Jordan, for those who would like to know a little more about the country, but who don’t necessarily want to wade through the minutiae of a Wikipedia entry!
As with all of Dya’s region builds, Little Jordan is very easy on the eye and the viewer. There are numerous things to see and enjoy, and a good number of opportunities for photography. Should you opt to enter the mosque, however, do follow the examples at the entrance and remember to remove your shoes!
- Dya’s Little Jordan (Phantos, rated Moderate)