One of the treats to enjoy in Barbados is to take the bus. Most of the hotels on the somewhat over-stuffed west coast do tours but for five Barbadian dollars you can hop on public transport and go to Bathsheba on the unspoilt east coast. The tourist board explains this exotic name by invoking the legend of Bathsheba, wife of King David, who bathed in milk to keep her skin beautiful and soft. The surf covered white waters are said to resemble Bathsheba's bath in both appearance health giving value. Well, why not. It’s a beautiful spot with huge coral boulders along the empty beach and free of the west coast traffic and the crowded hotels.
One exception is Speightstown, which is delightfully ramshackle and relatively uncommercial. Best way to get there is on one of the reggae buses which blast their way along, shaking with music. There is an interesting building for sale in the town called the Old Pharmacy, above. It is painted a bright blue, with tall windows, a balcony that runs the length of the building under a pitched gabled roof and dormer windows.
According to local historians this style of architecture was imported to another British colony - Carolina. And there’s a reason for that: Only the oldest sons of the British colonialists who grew rich on the Barbadian sugar trade could inherit the family plantation. Many of the younger siblings headed for Carolina, bringing with them their lifestyle and architecture. I’m told that only three of these houses exist, the rest destroyed by fires over the centuries.