These volcanic islands are covered with extremely rough and abrasive rocks, and once were used as prison islands. They don't receive much rainfall, so "desert island" is an apt description for them, with cactus and bush growing in the low-lying areas. The equatorial sun heats the rocks, which makes walking difficult, with dehydration and heat exhaustion a distinct possibility. In 1979, 300 Ecuadorian marines staged an amphibious landing on one side of Isabela Island, with a 28-kilometer march across the island to their pickup point. The planned 36-hour march turned into a five-day ordeal, with the troops becoming lost and disoriented due to dehydration and heat exhaustion. One man died. I say all this by way of introducing the hunt I was provided. The experience is not really a sport hunt as such, nor is it a drive-the-Suburban-out-to-the-pasture prairie dog shoot.
Travel to the first shooting area I visited on Santa Cruz Island involved at least a one-hour trip by truck and another hour by open boat powered by a 50 hp outboard. We saw sea lions, sea turtles and manta rays on the boat trip. While I walked inland and shot 13 feral donkeys in 3 1/2 hours, my wife snorkeled with her guide, who caught fresh lobsters and prepared a midday luncheon. We boated back to the truck and viewed volcanic craters and birds on the way back to the very comfortable Angermeyer Hotel in Puerto Ayerto. I spent another day in the Galapagos trying to shoot a wild boar that we hunted with the locals' hunting dogs. The boar was so large that the dogs were unable to turn or stop it, so I did not get a shot. A pleasantly surprising aspect of this hunt was the jolt you........(continued)