Who’ll get the first postcard from Tristan?

I sent 71 postcards, three greetings cards and three packages from Tristan da Cunha. The mail came back with me on the Edinburgh, so it didn’t matter if you were the first person I wrote to or the seventy-first. I wrote a postcard to myself, as I did when I was on the island four years ago, and covered it with stamps in small denominations. Unlike the last time, I decided not to cover people’s postcards with stamps in small denominations. Although I said I would cover your postcards in various different stamps, I realized that if I did that, I wouldn’t be able to use the lovely 35p stamps that featured local fauna, local history and so on. Some of the themes on the 35p postcard stamps were too good to pass up. So I decided to affix one stamp only on seventy of these postcards. I only covered the postcard that I mailed myself with stamps. I barely had room to write any message. When I receive it I will scan it to this blog.

Here is a photo of the mail sacks waiting to be picked up at the post office on the day of departure:

Your mail is in one of those bags!

Their delivery to the harbour:

Now awaiting transport to the Edinburgh by motorized raft:

We arrived in Cape Town on October 26, one week after leaving Tristan. Cargo would have been offloaded that same day, or at the latest, by Friday, October 27. I have been eagerly awaiting the first E-mail from any of the seventy postcard recipients telling me of their card’s arrival.

While I don’t expect most people to write to me when they receive their card, I know for certain that some people will. The first such notification I expected was from a couple who live in Cape Town. I travelled to Tristan with Martin and Marilyn Crawford four years ago, and visited them before I left for Tristan on this trip, and Marilyn stopped by Tristan House briefly before I caught my flight home. Surely the first postcard that got delivered would be the sole one mailed to South Africa. It should get delivered within South Africa before any of the cards I mailed to Europe, North America or Australia.

It did–but it took exactly two weeks. That’s horrible mail service. No wonder Marilyn asked me to take a package home with me to mail to her son in Indiana. I mailed it on my first Monday back and he got it later that week on Friday (or Saturday). However, I cannot say that the South African mail service is that bad, as I wrote a postcard to Mark from Cape Town before I left for Tristan and he got it a week later. Since I have been composing this mail I have heard from a Swiss friend who got his postcard. I expect the cards to Europe will be delivered before any other continent.

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