Ever fancied ditching a week in the Costa Del Sol for a chance to scale the wildnerness in Mongolia? Well, that’s what a new Cardiff group is offering.
The Cardiff Explorers Group is being setup by all-round Welsh action woman, Maria Leijerstam, who wants to encourage more people to get outdoors and take on extreme sports.
Inspired by a similar group running in Bristol, she’s organised a get together for those interested in taking on the wilder side of life.
Leijerstam said: “There are some smaller groups running adventure trips, but we want to give people the chance to go away with a group and try out some of the activities on Cardiff’s doorstep.
“There are a lot more people interested in extreme holidays and pursuits, it’s becoming a lot easier to try out something different.”
Competing in the World Series Adventure Racing is what Leijerstam does for fun, and the 32-year-old from the Vale of Glamorgan has a long history of getting active.
“I have always been an explorer,” she says, “when I was in at university in Plymouth I joined in the Officer Training Core and ever since then I’ve travelled the world taking part in different competitions.
“The adventure racing is the best thing, I love what they throw at us. We go away for five or six nights and we’re awake the whole time, doing everything from swimming, to kayaking, to running – whatever the judges want to throw at us.”
While Leijerstam has been around the world, including cycling the length of New Zealand, she still has a soft spot for exploring in Wales.
She said: “I think a lot of people forget that from the centre of Cardiff you can be up on Caerphilly Mountain in half an hour. I really like North Wales, walking and climbing up there. It’s such incredible scenery.”
Two of Leijerstam fellow explorers are setting up the club with her, Tori James from Pembrokeshire, who has scaled Everest, and Sarah Mayer from Penarth.
The first Cardiff explorers event is being held at Terra Nova bar in Cardiff Bay from 7 PM on Thursday 8th July 2010.