Things move fast on the grid, even in the old lands (1) and by the time I had decided that best way across the water dividing Clementina from Welsh was to coax Frank into the sea so he could swim us both across, the huge pirate ship and wooden building behind it in Taber had gone. I’ve no idea how long they had been there or why they had now gone, so I just flicked Frank’s reins and eased him down to the water’s edge. To my eternal gratitude, Frank showed no signs off displeasure as I moved him deeper in and soon was swimming away (2) as though he’d been doing it all his life (come to think of it, I had found him on an a sim that was essentially an island and had seen exactly no other horses in my time there – he may well have swum across in the first place).
I nudged Frank off to explore this old area of the grid; the whole sim seemed to be broken and divided by water channels, some shallow, others deep and fast flowing and I wondered just how much swimming Frank would appreciate. We crossed a small bridge and headed to the landmark that could be seen all the way from Clementina and beyond into the inland sea of Omidyar: a huge green beanstalk flanked by a continually rising and falling hot air balloon.
I left Frank to graze and dry out as I wandered around the base of the giant stalk to where I found a notice challenging anyone to try and climb to the top without cheating. Steller Sunshine (3), who had grown the beanstalk from a seed prim back in July 2003, was offering to pay L$500 to anyone who succeeded.
I looked up at the huge plant and decided that today was not a good day for dangerous sports – instead I flew up and landed on one of the many huge leaves. If you come here and take up the challenge, let me know how you get on – it looks all but impossible to me!
Just behind the beanstalk I found the half-buried remains of a truly massive statue seemingly uncovered by Steller who had then turned it into a tourist stop (or butterfly haven, I wasn’t sure which).
I walked off east past a large water tower towards a huge bucket and spade belonging to Saaz Roentgen and found a delightful Whack-A-Mole game Saaz had built. Unfortunately I proved not to be very adept at it and more moles escaped my fevered clicks than not.
Beyond Saaz’s place a wide expanse of water, deep and cold, divided the landmass and across it rose a mighty plateau topped with what looked to be trees and signs of habitation, but I could see no way of getting up outside of flying.
Instead I opted to brave the cold waters before me and swim across to the eastern half of the sim. It was hard, cold work and I made a mental note to give Frank an extra sugar lump when I made my way back to him. But for now, I concentrated on reaching the far shore…
Yours in Travel,
(1) It’s strange really, some parts hardly ever change (4), or rather they seem not too. In truth even they do, sort of like digital erosion I guess. But in SL it can happen fast and often. So far during my road trip I’ve lost a volcano, a skulk, a couple of huge ion-cannon wielding teddy bears and now a pirate ship and pirate castle.
(2) Poor Frank, he’d be mortified if he knew I told you this, so please shhhhhhh. Frank can’t swim! I know, I know – there is a photo showing him swimming, but it’s a fake, a phoney, a three quid note. Frank was flying and we hovered in the water to make it look like he could swim. But please, don’t tell him I told you.
(3) Steller Sunshine is credited with being the first resident in SL and was rezzed on Wednesday 13th March 2002 (the grid being opened on Tuesday 12th).
(4) The Forest of Kahruvel is one such place I see as eternal, but as we all know its past shows this to be far from the truth. Even today it is changing with the large, black mall in Noyo soon to be demolished to allow the forest to once more stretch its borders. No matter who or where, the grid is not eternal and everything and everyone in it just a piece of the flux that makes it work.