My name is Judith Malotaux.
It is now more than 12 years since I was discovered the Pyrenees more or less by chance, and actually it was love at first sight. I became fascinated by this mountain range with its enormous diversity. Since that first encounter, the mountains continued to attract me; almost every holiday, whether autumn, winter, spring or summer, I headed south to get to know the mountains better.
In 2014, I managed to stoke my love by fulfilling the desire to cross the Pyrenees from coast to coast. In mid-June, I was standing on the beach of Hendaye with my knees knocking, and forty-five days later I was standing on the pebbly beach of Banyuls with a backpack full of wonderful experiences and a sun-tanned face. I had done it! On my own, I had covered 850 kilometres and some 40 000 altitude metres.
Once back home, I tried to pick up daily office life again, but less than a month later I knew one thing for sure. That office life was no longer for me. No matter how much I liked my job; wearing out my life inside would not make me happy. In the years that followed, I lived and worked in the Pyrenees in the summer and in the Netherlands in the winter. I (re)discovered a new passion, namely cooking. Several summers I worked as a cook on a campsite.
For five years, I had one foot in the Pyrenees and one foot in the Netherlands. Until, at some point, the switch flipped and I decided to just go for it. Waiting for a well-filled bank account that would make emigration possible took me too long, so there was little choice but to find work in the Pyrenees even outside the summer season so I could take the plunge. And I did!
For the first three years, I lived at the foot of the Pyrenees and worked as a freelance cook in the area. This is also where my dog Nala came into my life. The desire to live more in the mountains grew, and in June 2022 I found a beautiful place in the village of Boussenac. It was a small appartment on a farm, where my wish to live deeper in the mountains came true. But not only this wish came true here; when the owner wanted to sell his herd of cows to start a life elsewhere himself, the idea of becoming a farmer myself was born.
As a cook, I always had a desire to produce my own food, and this way I could fulfil that wish too. Together with my companion, I then decided to start a small-scale agro-tourism business, with care for animals and nature at its core. We rented the entire farm, so that we could also start renting out a holiday home and start a small campsite on the farm in summer. We also took over the beautiful herd of cows, which stay around the farm in winter and graze on pastures higher up in the mountains in summer.
I want to do my bit for a world where humans and animals live in harmony with nature. By focusing on tourism, I hope to offer people a place to connect with nature and learn from what nature and our environment has to offer.