The Sea U Guesthouse where we are staying on our brief visit to Barbados is a charming place with some of those quirky details that make a location memorable — like the cobblestone stairway to the eating area that reminds me of the Sheryl Crow song every time I use it.
Sea U also has roomy cottages with great open porches, friendly staff, hammocks galore, beautiful native pottery and fixtures everywhere you look, and reasonably priced food and drink options — an important factor not to be overlooked on the pricey east coast of Barbados. We would come back here, which is really the acid test for us.
The Bathsheba Beach shoreline is dotted with fantastic rock formations that have been beveled and shaped by centuries of pounding surf. The rocks look whimsical from a distance, but the up-close reality is different: the rocks are volcanic in origin and remain razor sharp, even after enduring the ravages of wind, water, and salty air. You wouldn’t want to have an abrupt close encounter with them.
The tides on this side of Barbados are so fierce that casual swimmers are cautioned not to venture into the water. That does not deter the native fishermen, however. One of them, with dreadlocks carefully tucked under knit cap, scrambled down a rocky hillside and waded out into the surf to try his luck at netting some fish.
Framed against the blue water, the lone fisherman made a cool photo.
The east side of Barbados is mountainous, and the Sea U Guesthouse where we are staying is on the edge of a rocky hillside. There is no direct, easy route down to the water. Instead, two options are presented.
First, you can head south and downhill, the loop back north and follow a worn trail that runs along the coastline. This route will take you past boats under repair, steps that lead to nowhere, and abandoned concrete foundations, and the grasses growing along the path will tickle your ankles as they sway in the ever-present sea breeze.
Or you can head north and uphill to find the main road, and then follow that route as it switchbacks down the hillside to the ocean. This route requires the walker to keep an eye out for traffic — which proceeds on the wrong side of the road, from the American standpoint — but also offers a stunning view of the sweeping arc of Bathsheba beach and its pounding waves, as well as a bird’s eye view of the footpath far below.
Two distinct paths to one destination. Very zen-like, and very Caribbean!
We’re on the rugged Atlantic side of Barbados near Bathsheba Beach. It’s not well-suited for the casual swimmer, but it’s a beautiful area with crashing waves that draw surfers like flies. We also like the fact that it is less visited than the western side of the island, which has the traditional Caribbean beaches and calm seas.