Postman from Galapagos
On 27th November our guests visited Post Office Bay on the island of Floreana in Galapagos. Our landing here was part of a 7-night expedition voyage aboard the National Geographic Islander during our escorted Ecuador and Galapagos tour. At Post Office Bay we visited the old post barrel to follow in the foot steps of the whalers and explorers who had been here many years earlier. In times gone by ships were attracted to Floreana due to the availability of food and drinking water. Before sailing back to the UK, ships visited the area to stock up on supplies. Since there were many vessels coming and going, sailors would write their messages to family and ask the returning ships to take mail back to the UK. No payment or postage stamp was necessary - the system worked via the returning sailor hand delivering the letter to the correct address. For fun, the same procedure is still in operation. When we visited, we found the post barrel stuffed with tourist postcards. We read through the addresses to discover whether any were local to our guests. There were cards for many different countries including the UK, the USA, South America, Europe, Austrailasia, Japan and (we think!) China. A surprising number of cards were near to our guest addresses so we were able to take quite a few for hand delivery. Then we post our own! Most guests have written a card to family or friends, or perhaps to themselves. Today, 12th December, we received word from Peter and Val, and from Alistair and Jennifer that cards have been delivered to their addresses! That's just over two weeks delivery time, without a stamp - so pretty good going. Far better, in fact, than the official system - postcards with stamps posted in Ecuador have yet to arrive - we'll keep you posted!