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The “Ajoux effect”

September 9, 2017

I am writing this piece while listening to a Lucinda Williams album and enjoying an applicable beverage, after all it is “Pastis time”. Lucinda Williams is the charming lady, which a little bar somewhere in the picturesque village Ajoux is named after. You might wonder; Ajoux? Like a friend of my family once said; “Everyone knows the famous

Axe-effect, but few people know the Ajoux-effect. This might change after reading this little piece.” He’s been addicted to the Ajoux-effect since 1998.

Ajoux is a tiny village in the Ardèche, on top of a rock that rises above the rest of the beautiful landscape. There are a few houses and a restaurant with only two menu's, but the view from there is phenomenal. 

But this is not the place to experience the Ajoux-effect; therefore you have to take the exit “Hoevelaken” as we like to call it, because the corner is so sharp you have to take a strange turn. After surviving Hoevelaken and the crazy hairpin turns, follow the sign “Roulottes” until you end up in the  Gypsy caravan world of Kees and Cecilia.

Once you’re there all your worries dissapear.

Les Roulottes du Travers is a place where freedom is happiness, and owners Kees and Cecilia do everything to prevent this from becoming a lame French family campsite. They established very few rules and have no intention of becoming part of any campsite association. You can experience sleeping and living in a charming authentic gyspy caravan without having to own one and drag it around with a 4x4 car and if you want you can always join the owners for dinner beneath the leaking pergola, and Cecilia will cook a star or three from heaven.  

Regularly, when the Lucinda Williams bar’s highest point of area is not occupied

(you can also rent the bar) you can enjoy the awesome well known barbecue evenings or bar-nights, where everyone gets to know each other a little better. These nights are a combination of “Oerhollandse gezelligheid” and French Joie de vivre, and the jokes that are told are not always worth repeating. Between those nights, and relaxing at the small swimming pool, you can visit the cutest villages with typical French flea markets or go on a bicycle or motorcycle ride. Just make sure you are back before 19 AM, or “Pastis time” as it’s been called, so you can enjoy the best French beverage ever made at the Pastis terras at the back of the house, and mellow in the evening sun in the company of old and new friends.

I can not really explain the feeling myself, other friends and visitors have when in Ajoux. It’s an oasis of peace with the best music, tasty food, and great company.

There must be something about the roulottes that attracts special people.

You can really escape reality, but then again really get real.

Everything is just perfect.

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