Friday, December 26, 2014

South Africa Adventure 2014 Video

I hope you enjoyed the three stories I posted about my South Africa adventures.  It was a wonderful trip even with the day and a half travel to get there.  I though I would wrap it all up with a video a made of the highlights.  It is my very first video montage of a trip and I think it was a success.  In fact, I already have the plans in place for my Iceland video for next summer's adventure!  Enjoy South Africa:

video

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Safari South Africa - My Big Five

Now that I have completed my five day safari in Africa I am prepared to give my Big Five.  All I heard leading up to the safari was "I want to see the Big Five".  Over and over again.  Heck, I didn't even know what the Big Five were, but that was what everyone was wanting.

I listened carefully and learned the Big Five were lion, water buffalo, leopard, rhino and elephant.

We spent five days and four nights at the wonderful Thornybush Waterside Lodge.  Every morning we were up at 5am and off on our morning drive in search of all the great animals.  Return for breakfast and a little relaxation before heading back out at 4pm for another exciting trek.   So over the course of our searches I made my own Big Five list from my sightings.

Here are the TexanTreks Big Five and I am sure mine will surprise you a bit!  I will start with #5 and work my way to the #1 best sighting of my safari.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The big cats of Kruger National Park at Thornybush Game Lodge

Ode to the Safari.  An event that pretty much every person on the planet would love to undertake.  After two days to acclimate and get over jet lag in Cape Town it was time for our Safari!  Up early an off to the Cape Town airport for our flight to Hoedspruit.

Destination? The Thornybush Game Lodge in the northeast of South Africa.  A two hour flight and we landed at a military base with an escort waiting to drive us to the Kruger National Park.  Oh the anticipation!

You name it and Kruger has it.  Giraffe. Rhino. Hippo. Impala. Kudu. Elephants. Mongoose. Hyena.  And I could go on and on.  But the cats are the main attraction.  Lions, cheetahs and leopards.  Big cats!  Top of the food chain predators.  The kings of the jungle.

After a hour drive to the lodge we checked in and were served a wonderful lunch.  A little break and then it was time to meet or guides at 4pm and head or on a afternoon safari.  The anticipation is great. What kinds of animals would we see?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Table Mountain, Cape Town South Africa

Yes oh yes.  I Had been waiting for this.  Table Mountain.  The iconic landmark of Cape Town, South Africa.  Known world wide.  Thirty six hours traveling from Texas to England to South Africa.  This would make the long trip forgotten and open my visit with a bang!


7:30am and I was ready to go.  Coming from the wine region outside Cape Town and hitting rush hour traffic slowed our progress a bit, but before long we were heading up the hill to the sky tram that would lift us all the way to the top of Table Mountain.  At the base there are a few little gift shops, a small deli where you can get simple food and drink and of course a restroom.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Be a Featured Blog with TexanTreks

I wanted to start off 2015 with a new project – offering bloggers the opportunity to become a featured blog! I often get asked by bloggers if they can get a link or shout-out on my blog or if I have a blogroll page they can be featured on.

I used to have one but then it just got so big it pretty much became useless and looked cluttered and spammy, not helpful at all, so I deleted it. That being said, I wanted to give you all the opportunity to have a little slice of my blog for yourselves, month to month. TexanTreks has a growing base of unique visitors each month just waiting for you.

If you are travel blogger looking to expand your audience, reach new eyeballs, and find more followers, here’s your chance.

I am now offering monthly sidebar ads for bloggers!

For $50 a month you can have a sidebar ad on TexanTreks (sitewide) with your header or logo as you wish, image size 350 x 150 (or similar). I will also include a feature and link in my upcoming monthly newsletter which will reach TexanTreks entire audience!

If you want to build your following and expand your audience, take advantage!

Slots are filling up fast so let me know!

If you are interested email me at - shane.barrow@gmail.com

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Getting the Gold on Cache Creek, Colorado

Welcome to my latest gold adventure report!  This time I decided to head into the Colorado Mineral Belt and hunt some gold in the Leadville and Buena Vista area. Having never been to the area I did many ours of research on the intriguing gold opportunities as there was quite a gold rush there in the 1860s that not only drew thousands of prospectors, but also the likes of Oscar Wilde and Doc Holliday.

During my research I stumbled across Randy Witham's goldadventures.biz website where he offers guided gold prospecting along the Arkansas River in just the area I was heading!  Jackpot.  What could be better than getting the lay of the land from a local expert.  Not only could I learn from him, I could also get some local history.

My plan was to base in Leadville for three days and take advantage of Randy on day one.  Then I would go it alone the next two days.  After several email correspondences everything was set.  After my U18 club soccer team won the title at Denver Cup 2014 I rented a car and left Denver for Leadville. It was an easy drive and I soon checked into my motel ready for the next day.

I met Randy the next morning at 8am sharp in the little town of Granite which is about 20 miles south of Leadville.  Parked right next to the rushing Arkansas River and loaded into his car for the adventure.  Randy said we would be prospecting up on Cache Creek just a couple of miles above Granite.  We turned onto Lost Canyon Road and were on our way.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ivory Coast and El Salvador Soccer from Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas

The main benefit of having my website Soccermogul is that I get media credentials to a multitude of wonderful soccer matches.  This summer offers three great games which I will be attending.  The Aston Villa v FC Dallas friendly in mid July and the Real Madrid v Roma friendly at the Cotton Bowl in late July. 

The first of the three was the World Cup warmup between Ivory Coast and El Salvador at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas the home of FC Dallas.  The Ivory Coast featured recognizable players such as Gervinho, Salomon Kalou, Kolo Toure to go along with the big two stars Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure. With soccer studs like that you can see why I had been waiting for this game since the time it was announced a few months back.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Hotel reviews Peru Adventure 2014

I thought it would be helpful to write a review of all the hotels I stayed at during the trip.  This should give any potential traveller some good information on certain hotels as well as advice on where to stay in certain cities.  Most everyone's Peru trip begins with at least a night in the capitol of Lima.  Miraflores is the place to stay for tourists and it is about a 40 minute taxi ride from the airport.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Intipunku - Hiking to the Inca Sun Gate at Machu Picchu

The 2014 Peru Adventure continues on.  Today we arrived at the world famous Machu Picchu.  The arrival was not without incident though.  We grabbed the 7:15am train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.

The train was right on time and off we went.  After about an hour of cruising along next to the rip-roaring Urubamba River we suddenly came to a stop.  Seems a mud slide had blocked the tracks ahead.  We sat for two and a half hours while it was cleared.

Anyway, on to Machu Picchu we went.  I purchased my Machu Picchu ticket for 126 soles and then my bus ticket for another 53 soles. (be prepared as it is cash only and only Peruvian soles).

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Birds of the Amazon River - Picaya Samiria Nacional Reserve

We spent four days aboard the Aria with Aqua Adventures traveling the Amazon River within the Picaya Samiria Nacional Reserve.  Twice a day we set out from the Aria aboard skiffs accompanied by a naturalist in search of wildlife.  The main thing that stands out in my head is the diversity of the birds there.



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Amazon River Adventure 2014


The next two days on the Amazon were just as fabulous as the opening day.  Wildlife everywhere!

In the morning we were treated to a jungle hike where we searched for all kinds of creepy, crawlies.  I was hoping for an anaconda, but to no avail.  The bugs were not nearly as bad as I had expected.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Cruising Down the Amazon River with Aqua Adventures on the Aria

The first part of the Peru Expedition 2014 entailed an Amazon River cruise aboard the Aria for a few days.  We flew from Lima to Iquitos which is in the far northeastern corner of Peru.  This is where the headwaters of the Amazon River are located as it flow all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

We were met at the airport and given a short tour of the city of Iquitos before boarding our boat.  The Aria is a three deck boat with 8 cabins on the first level and 8 more on the second.  The third deck is an observation deck as well as bar and lecture room.

The opening night we were given a welcome speech along with safety instructions for the vessel.  Afterwards we were served the first of many extraordinary meals.  The boat has its own chef and to say the food is top notch would not being doing justice.  Every meal was wonderful. We retired to our rooms ready to go for the next day of adventure.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Observations from the Lima Airport in Peru

As I embark on my Peru journey down the Amazon River and then into the Cusco region I thought I would share some of my observations.  Seems I have been sitting through a six hour layover at the Lima airport waiting for my flight to Iquitos.  People watching at its best.  Here are my three main conclusions so far.


Everyone in Peru is skinny.  What the heck?  I myself am a bit pudgy. I admit it. But come on!  I stick  out like a sore thumb here.  Everyone is nice and skinny.  Give a gringo a chance eh? It must be in the genes down here.

At least I have something going for me though.  I am like Dirk Nowitzki here.  I tower over everyone!  I am only 5'10 on a good day, but down here I am a solid head taller than 80%.  I mean it isn't even close.  I could have been a basketball star in Peru!

One other major observation here as I sit at the Lima airport is that the girls here are really hot.  I mean majorly sexy.   No makeup.  Nothing fancy needed.  Just natural beauties.

Ahhhh it is time for my flight into the Amazon jungle.  Get ready piranha, here I come!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Peru Adventure 2014 is off to an eventful start!

The trip to Peru is off to an eventful start.  Nothing ever seems to come easily when it comes to international travel for me.  It is always an adventure. 

 My last flight to Peru in 2012 was a nightmare.  Canceled flights.  Missed flights.  Nineteen hours, six flights, four states and three countries later I made it. Read about the first flight adventure here! This flight experience was not nearly as bad luckily.  Still not perfect though.  The flight from DFW to Lima was scheduled for 5pm local time.   Well there were problems with the plane and next thing we know the flight is pushed back to 9pm.  Four hours! 

Read about the flight adventure from my first Peru trip

 A nice meal at Cantino Laredo helped ease the pain.  Back to the gate to board for the 9:00.   Not quite.  Pushed back to 9:30.   Then pushed back to 9:45.  Finally we get on board.  Off to Peru right? Not quite.  We sit there. And sit there. Thirty minutes later the captain comes over the intercom and says a passenger did not show up for the flight but they have a bag on board and the FAA will not allow a bag without a passenger.  Makes sense for sure, but more wait time. Finally at 10:30 we take off headed for Lima.  

Ready for a good in flight movie I was.  Only to realize the movie something called Austenland.  Seriously?  A chick-flick about a nerdy girl that goes to an English estate to recreate an 18th century British novel? Now what does a plane 90% full of South Americans want with an Old English chick-flick.  

tried to watch, but could only take thirty  minutes before I about died of boredom.   And that was it.  No other entertainment at all.  A six and a half hour flight with one crappy ninety minute movie.  No second movie.  Not even a few sitcoms thrown in. Just a yellow screen that said "three hours to Lima." Oh well.  I guess for every wonderful experience in life we must have a small bit of suffering.  For a few days down the Amazon River and a week in the Cuzco area with the wonderful Inca sites this was a small task to endure. Bring on Peru!