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Post Office

Isla Floreana, Ecuador

Help with the World's Oldest Mailing System

Picking up a postcard and delivering it to a stranger is usually a job for those carrying a brown satchel and driving a little red van. Here in the Galapagos, things run slightly differently. Post Office Bay, on Floreana Island, has a tradition dating back to the early 1800s when sailors would leave mail in an old wooden barrel for it to be delivered by those passing through. Today, visitors have adopted the same method by taking a postcard, from the hundreds left behind, and delivering it by hand when they return home. “The beauty is that you connect with like-minded people and get to talk about your journey together,” says Ecoventura guide Ivan Lopez. And take it from me the system works. A few months after leaving a postcard for my father, a lady from England, picked it up, drove from Manchester and delivered it to the small Derbyshire town of Matlock.