PMO Explorers
For our second hike we met up with distant friends COMMONGROUND, a tight-knit crew of outdoor enthusiasts hailing from the North of England.

Starting off as a group of lads who were chatting online and decided to meet one day to go for a hike, after documenting their time. They found that more and more people would join up with them, creating what is now known as cmn.ground. It was only a matter of time until we linked up to put something together.

Friday lunchtime came and we hit the road, packed to the brim with camping gear, grub, people, and Reggie the dog. After a couple of pit stops and some stretching of the legs, we rocked up at a farmer’s field in Pen Y Fan. This spot doubled as a campsite, and apart from the occasional visit from the farmer on his quad bike, it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. We pitched our tents, soaked in the scenery, especially the sight of a lamb doing a little dance. Then, we got the fire going and rustled up some grub. Let me tell you, the night sky over the Brecon Beacons is something else! It’s so clear and free from light pollution that it’s been named an International Dark Sky Reserve – the first in Wales and only the fifth in the world! You can even spot the Milky Way and catch meteor showers on a clear night. After a while, we crashed out in our sleeping bags, serenaded by the sounds of nature.

Being woken up by sheep isn’t your everyday wake-up call, but it definitely added to the charm. After a few husky hello’s as people started to awake and a refreshing dip in the stream, we were raring to go.

We met up in the main National Trust car park, which filled up quicker than you could say “Purple Mountain Observatory.” After a bit of parking shuffle and some strategic planning, we were all set to hit the trail. The start was a very steep ascent, taking us to the best views almost instantly. At 886m above sea level, we were rewarded with epics views of the iconic Brecon Beacons. It was awesome to see so many people out enjoying nature without feeling like sardines in a can. Even better to notice the lack of litter, it’s important to remember how harmful we can be to these natural beauty spots, and what we can be mindful of when visiting them.The trail was tough but rewarding, everyone was able to enjoy and challenge themselves without feeling like they were on the verge of collapsing. After a final push up the slate steps to the top we had made it. No-one left behind and with two dogs in tow, who arguably were the better hikers, smiles were shared all round.A quick stop for some food and water, and we followed the trail back around and down to the car park from the other side. It was a wonderful day enjoyed by all. That’s what these hikes are all about; ‘Finding COMMONGROUND amongst strangers.’ The tagline on the back of the tops we gave everyone who was present, and the message really resonated. After a few ice creams we all said our goodbyes and headed our separate ways, with a nice familiar feeling in the air as we drove back to London.

Until next time



Team PMO x