Nick and I are on a mission to walk more regularly. To this end we took ourselves out into the cold sunshine, after Nick had rung the Sunday Service Church bells. With a new walk to organise and lead for our village group in the autumn, we thought there is no time like the present to investigate possibilities. At least it will give us some insight as to the ‘going’ after a sustained interval of wet weather. We look for a walk of roughly four miles with terrain that is not overly steep or arduous. With fond memories of walking down to Church Ope Cove and over the undulating cliff tops to the south, we drove to Easton on the Isle of Portland, parked and descended to the castle which towers over the small cove fringed with beach and fishermen’s huts. The pebbles and cobbles on the shore are all smoothed and you find some wonderfully regular shapes.
By the castle there is an option to turn northeast and walk along under the Jurassic limestone undercliff. We passed some climbers scaling the relatively low cliffs. Learners perhaps. We continued along the track of the old railway line with wonderful views onto the lower clifftop and out to Weymouth Bay. That lower clifftop is an undulating terrain of boulders, grazed shrubby grassland, relict spoil heaps of quarried limestone and a network of tracks. It immediately struck me as a real world DragonVale complete with plant, water, air, earth and metal habitats! Having walked along the undercliff we took a small track down onto the lower cliff tops and followed the tracks back to the steps leading down to Church Ope cove. Nick spotted a single primrose plant in flower, nestling in a very sheltered patch of scree.
Currently I risk the ridicule of my spouse and sensible (sceptical) friends and family by participating in a breeding simulation game in which players display dragons in habitats in order to earn dragon cash. Dragon cash is a currency with no actual value. There are eight basic elements: plant, earth, fire, cold, lightning, water, air and metal and these basic dragons can be bred to produce a specific set of hybrid dragons by being paired in the breeding cave or breeding island. There are a number of limited or rare dragons that are only available during a specific period of time, for example, the Ghost dragon for Halloween and the Reindeer dragon for the winter holidays. Limited dragons include the gemstone dragons, which correspond to the monthly birthstones. (Currently I have tried numerous times to get the January gem, a Garnet dragon, by breeding an Obsidian and a Smoke dragon and I only have one day left!)
There are also a small number of Epic dragons, namely the Sun, Moon, Rainbow, Treasure, Seasonal and Olympus dragons. You feed the dragons with treats paid for in dragon cash which the dragons earn. There are also gems which open up other possibilities. That is the nub of the matter……….. although I would like to think that I am not a nub (Urbanspeak) at the game!
I enjoy DragonVale for two principal reasons: firstly three of my family members are playing it and we visit each other’s sites and gift each other gems each day. The other reason is that the dragons themselves are so beautifully visualised with varying body shapes and ornament which are graceful and colourful. They remind me of sea slugs- take a look at the gallery on my friend’s Nudibranch website.