„Write it down like this: the place is open for friends and wondering tourists to come in for refreshments and to enjoy themselves... but, ok, they can get a bed for a night as well... I only care to see people having a good time. I wouldn't let just anyone come here, not for all the money in the world... This place means too much to me.“
We are sat at a large stone built table, stuffing our faces with delicious home grown cherries, drinking walnut brandy and listening to our host, Miro Jaksic aka Servantes. He earned his nick name when he returned from America with no money. He didn't manage to last there for more than two-three years. The promised land didn't agree so much with Miro and he just wanted to come back home. He built his property in stone and from stone, in a place called Visoka, above the island of Sumartin. He decorated to his taste. A few stone houses, each one a story of its own. One is a dining area with a big fireplace, a shower in the bathroom that has pebbles on the floor (to make you feel like you're on the beach), another house is a bedroom with a king size bed and a big canopy. He decorated the smallest house to look like it did when he used to spend time there with his grandfather.
„I can't find the words to describe this amazing sight when the moonlight hits the sea. I still remember how I used to stare at it mesmerized when I was a kid.“ There are wonderful views from his house, one can see small houses in Sumartin, the channel of Makarska and the Biokovo mountain from one side and the island of Hvar on the other side. Miro named the estate „Servantesovi dvori“(„Servantes' court“) after his own nickname. He doesn't want to commercialize it, but prefers to have his friends stay there, and sometimes rents it out to people who value peace and quiet, who respect all the effort put into the place and who love nature. This unusual host doesn't just open his heart to everyone, but when he does, he does it completely.
We were enjoying our very pleasant rowing at sea without any wind at all, and would look back only to take another glimpse at the Biokovo mountain. We were looking at these vertical cliffs and trying to find that path that lead us from the top down. It's amazing how our forefathers even made these paths and broke through cliffs and sandbanks that lead them to luscious summer pastures, gardens and fields, and ice even, which they used to go and take from deep sinkholes and frozen caves.
Even though the plan was to go rowing to the island of Hvar, I decided to change the plan and visit the island of Brac some more. I just couldn’t have the Welcome without the Vidova gora mountain, the highest top from all the islands in the Adriatic. Our friend Steka chose a very interesting new route for us to take through some unknown parts of Brac. Lovely little villages of Nagorinac, Nakal, Osridke, Podsmrcevik... names as if taken from some fairytale like places. And that is exactly what they look like. Small, humble, stone houses with stone tiles on the roof, one expects to see hobbits coming out of them. Narrow roads meandering through parts of thick bush and colorful spring flowers. Scents of pine trees and oregano everywhere. An occasional donkey gives us a passive look from under the shade of an olive tree and only sporadic clatter of cutlery and crockery make us realise that someone does live here and that it is lunchtime.
Brac is too intertwined with a huge number of macadam for us to be able to successfully follow Steka’s written and phone instructions. Of course, we got completely lost somewhere between the Brac airport and Gornji Humac. A hard macadam path, which seemed a logical and correct choice to take, narrowed down first into a pedestrian path, and then into a steep goat path where we had to carry our bikes, and the moment later we were completely lost. Tea and I weren’t too worried about this, since this wasn’t the first time we’d found ourselves in this kind of situation. Sajko lost his scarf in the middle of all these thick bushes, went to look for it, found it, only to realize he had now lost his bike! He managed to find it after an hour of looking. In the end, after a few more navigation errors, we managed to get to Podgazul, a lot later than we had hoped, though... We found Steka waiting for us there, realizing he wasn't much help. In this small, exotic pastoral hamlet, that master Nikola has in recent years turned into an inevitable sight for all lovers of good wine and good food, we had some short and sweet refreshments ourselves and continued our way up to Vidova gora. The area called Trolokvi – “Threepuddles” is literally named after three puddles where sheep come to drink, is especially beautiful. It is a vast, wavy plateau with alternating pine forests, bare pastures and green grass so nicely maintained by sheep that it would make even best of English gardeners green with envy. We got to Vidova gora at sunset – which was of course gorgeous. Even though we were dead tired and it was getting dark fast, we decided to take a walk down a steep hiking path Vela all the way to Bol. It was like an icing on cake after a very hard day. We got there in a mere hours time.
What a wonderful day. However, due to a few unplanned changes, getting lost and wondering around our letter „M“ is not really looking that good. I hope you won't mind our writing. Beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder.