Week four of The Guardian’s Kevin Rushby taking Croatia in the slow lane, with his journey on foot from Motovun to Split. The Kornati Islands on September 4, 2016.
Vid is sitting in his winter living room among the large model boats he has carved from driftwood – everything from galleons to the Titanic. “This is not a job,” he tells me. “This is a lifestyle. I came here five years ago to escape the world of business and city life. There are only three rules: no politics, no assumption of status and no grumpiness.”
On this Croatian road trip we have reached, it seems, the furthest possible point from cities, politics and grumpiness. Vid is an avuncular presence, gently supervising his hostel-campsite-taverna on the island of Kornat, the largest in the Kornati archipelago, a chain of 140 limestone outcrops off the port of Zadar. Vid has forgotten to mention another rule, actually a necessity, of his kingdom: you cannot drive or walk to it. The only access is by boat or kayak.
“It’s like a filter,” he says. “Paddlers and sailors are more likely to be good people. They’re friendly and don’t look down on other people.”