A summer’s day on Iona Shores in Second Life

Iona Shores, August 2021 – click any image for full size

Earlier in August, Ocean (OceanLag) poked me about making a return visit to the Homestead region of Iona Shores. I last visited the region in June 2019, when it offered a mix of public spaces and private rentals – a combination that can be hard to blog about, given the potential for encouraging trespass into the latter.

Since then however, much has changed. Now the home of Ana Cristole (Anais Cristole), the region offers a new setting, courtesy of the design work of the ever-brilliant Busta (BadBoyHi) and is now offered to the public as location largely open for exploration, relaxation and photography. I say “largely”, because there is a house occupying part of the region that lies within its own parcel; while it has no signs to indicate it is private, I would suggest that caution is employed and it is treated as such to avoid trespass.

Iona Shores, August 2021

Like its Hebridean name sake, Iona Shores sits within a group of islands – although these are off-region in nature. Also, it would appear that were this to be a place in the physical world, it would reside in latitudes a lot further south than Scottish waters, given the monkeypod trees that can be found scattered over the uplands and narrow lowlands of the region, and the occasional palm trees waiting to be found around the coast.

It is the sharp contrast between the uplands and the beaches that define the nature of the setting. The former rise sharply as a trio of rocky plateaux with predominantly near-vertical cliffs and steep slopes, the beaches forming an almost all-encompassing skirt around their feet. the house occupies the largest of these plateaus, which is flanked on either side by the other two and is connected to them by a pair of bridges.

Iona Shores, August 2021

All three of these rocky tables has its own route to its top, but moving between the three is a little difficult assuming the house is a private residence, as it straddles the route from the plateau to the south-west to the one in the north-east, and thus blocks a direct route across all three.

That the direct route is blocked is not to the detriment of any exploration of the region – Ana has a right to have her house as she desires, after all. But more to the point, the fact the house is there encourages visitors to spend more time exploring via the island’s other routes. Also, given the manner in which they have been connected to the house rather than being left separate from it gives the suggestion that the two flanking plateaux have been cultivated as wild gardens for the latter. Each has been been planted with wild flowers and offer places to sit and relax, an old well also occupying the top of one of them.

Iona Shores, August 2021
Further places to sit can be found around the beaches, some of which can be reached with relative ease from the (quite arbitrary) landing point I’ve offered here while others might take a little walking to in order to discover / reach – such as the cove to the north-east with it’s little shaded and slightly makeshift hideaway. The lowlands between the three plateaus offer narrow paths between the east / west and north / south sands, helping with exploration, but the best way to find all the coastal spots is to follow the sands around the water’s edge.

Off to the north-west there sits a small nub of rock rising from the waters, home to a small lighthouse. Connected to the rest of the island by a wooden walkway, it sits as a perfect vantage point for looking back and appreciating the rest of the setting.

Iona Shores, August 2021

As one would expect from a design by Busta, Iona Shore is perfectly put together, a natural setting that offers a lot to see and plenty of opportunities for relaxation and photography and is undoubtedly a place that should be seen by all who enjoy exploring Second Life.

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