My son was travelling through his gap year and visited Galapagos in April .
A couple of weeks ago a somewhat battered postcard arrived through the letter box, hand delivered by two other travellers.
My son had written “Mum & Dad, if you get this I will tell you the story. If not, then never mind. Love Leo” attached to the card was a note from the post ladies “Found this in Post Office Bay Galapagos and brought it home with us to deliver. It has travelled pretty far!! Love Beccie and Lucy”
Apparently, seafarers and more recently travellers have been leaving mail in Post Office Bay for over 200 years for others to sift through and carry on to the final destination.
The bay is so-named because in 1793, Captain James Colnett installed an empty barrel of rum which works as an informal post box for the sailors who periodically passed through the Galapagos, taking with them letters for their next ports of call or final destinations. Visitors to the islands continue the tradition by placing postcards without stamps inside the barrel which reach their destinations free of charge. Sometimes it takes weeks, sometimes months, and sometimes the cards never get there at all.
The whole loose concept appeals to me and when it works every one feels good about the process. Of course if your mail is really important this may not be the way to go.
If someone knows Beccie and Lucy, 2 travellers probably from North London who have been to Galapagos in the last few months, please say thanks to them from me and leo – now if that happens it really will close the loop.