Ecuador's Galapagos Islands - 2003

FLOREANA ISLAND

T HE P OST O FFICE This morning (April 28) we participated in a bit of the culture and history of the Galapagos. A short panga ride took us from the ship to Post Office Bay on Floreana where we learned about a centuries-old tradition wherein mail was received and delivered entirely free but with long delivery delays.

Since most of the early whaling and sealing ships stopped in the Galapagos to take on fresh water and tortoises for provisions, it was a perfect place for a “mail box.” Ship crews on the way out for their 3-5 year voyages would leave messages for loved ones in a big barrel. Crews on their way back would pick up the letters to deliver them when they got back home. That way folks at home would get at least one message from their long-absent sailors.

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