Here's why you should come and stay on the Estancia La Margarita ....

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Its Time for the Long Rides Again

As autumn nears we can at last look forward to some nice long rides on the pampas without melting in the midday sun. In January it’s often far too hot for long rides as the heat really affects the horses and of

course the riders. We therefore, tend to offer shorter rides in the hot January days and the rest of the day guests often spend enjoying the peace here, dips into the pool along with enjoying the tasty dishes prepared by Eduardo our chef. I love those hot summer days I really do but I also love it when the leaves start to fall and the longer rides start. We have just   introduced a new ride which takes the riders to the house of Roberto Campos a true pampas gaucho who lives on the outskirts of Tapalque . He  is of a very famous family of landowners who many years ago fell on hard times sadly and lost their fortune. However, Roberto kept many gaucho   mementos from that era and of course the stories of those interesting times when Argentina was starting to conquer the world in agriculture. After mate (typical Argentine drink bit like tea) with Roberto and some very interesting stories for those who have the energy the ride moves goes on to the river to let the horses drink and rest a bit in preparation for the  return ride to La Margarita. Arrival back on La Margarita is normally in time to take in a late tasty lunch and of course a well earned siesta -  in all it takes around 4- 5 hours. I have a feeling its going to be a popular ride.
As always the most popular long ride  here   is the ride to the famous pulperia Gervasio about 20klms from the estancia (see web page for details). Just yesterday (13/03/2014) the ride was done by a group of Brits who are guest on the estancia for four days.   Nine of them set out on the ride and on arrival at the pulperia  a typical gaucho lunch was enjoyed by all . The weather was great and the guest’s; judging from their faces and comments had an excellent ride out. After setting out at 8am the group finally arrived back on La Margarita at 3pm tired but very happy to have done this exhilarating ride.

This is David Cummings alias The English Gaucho hasta pronto 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Germany to the Rescue - Again !

On La Margarita we usually have at least one volunteer to help us with the running of the estancia. Its a lot of work as you can imagine what with looking after the animals,

gardening, helping in the kitchen, helping guest with their needs and horse riding etc  -  the list goes on . The volunteers we have had have come from all over the world but recently we have had a run of volunteers from Germany. I am not sure why this is but I am really happy for it. Anna who is with us now (she joined us a month ago) is another in the long line of German volunteers we have had working here. In fact she is the 4th in  a row and the third in a row from Berlin. Anna who is currently enrolled in a Masters degree course of Sustainable tourism decided that she wanted to come and volunteer on La Margarita to help us out, learn some more Spanish and work with horses. After a few conversations in my office she got the job and is now happily working on La Margarita. She has had a hard act to follow in Millli who left us to travel after being with us for nearly five months. However, I am more than happy to say that the charming Anna is doing just that  and is another  excellent volunteer in a long line  of excellent volunteers  who have come to work on the estancias  and in doing so helping to make  things easier for us and guests (and of course the horses!) on La Margarita

This is David Cummings alias The English Gaucho hasta luego

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cooking Up a Storm

Raquel and Edu 
They say that too many cooks spoil the broth but for me that’s rubbish – well I hope it is as we now have two excellent cooks on La Margarita for a couple of months. To explain, we have taken on Edu (Eduardo)(see pic) to cook for our guests for a couple of months. The idea is to give Raquel, who has worked almost   non - stop over the past couple of years a rest on my orders and she really deserves it. Come rain or shine you would have found her on time in the kitchen cooking some great tasty meals or making home made bread or empanadas etc. She, of course, finds it as those who know her, hard to rest and I know that she will still be chomping at the bit to do some cooking now and again. Luckily she and Edu get on great and I don’t see any problems at all should they both be in the kitchen. In fact what I see is some really tasty dishes being served up over the coming weeks. Raquel will still be with us; in fact she will be doing a lot of what she already does i.e. administering the estancia. No one knows the estancia better than her so I am happy that she will be doing that to keep operations on the estancia smooth running.
            Edu is taking time out from his normal culinary work in a top tango restaurant in St Telmo  Buenos Aires . We know he is an excellent chef having worked for us before when we did events at our events house (Red House) in Buenos Aires so a big big welcome to him on La Margarita and I am looking forward to working with him as is everyone else.

This is David Cummings alias The English Gaucho hasta pronto

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Coming to Argentina – You Must Read This

About this time of year I give a bit of an update to help you if you are coming to Argentina soon.

Meutia on her visit to the pulperia 
There is no doubt about it that inflation here has taken hold and there has been a noticeable appreciation of prices. However, we are far from being expensive so don’t let it worry you  too much – just do a bit of price comparison and you will be fine. The good news is that the black-market exchange rates (called the blue market here) have soared and if you bring cash with you will find bargains abound. You can as I write this change one dollar for around 11 pesos and one pound for around 16 and a euro for around 13. That’s a around a 50%-60 difference to the official rate. Course it only works with cash so you have to bring cash with you to get these rates. You will find an abundance of places willing to take your currency so you will have no trouble changing it. If you are a bit nervous of changing the money yourself Adri in my office in Buenos Aires is happy to do it for you (we have done it for many guest and visitors to BA and La Margarita) – just mail her on and arrange it with her

On another note AirBnB is working great here in the city . There is an abundance of aptos to rent - far better than renting a hotel room. I rent my apto out sometimes so if you are looking in Palermo have a look at mine (sorry for the plug)

Meutia enjoying fresh milk after milking the cow
This week on La Margarita we had our furthest ever visitor. Her name is Meutia Chaerani and she came all the way from Jakarta in  Indonesia. It took her an amazing  48 hours to get here and she is traveling alone for a month in Argentina. She said she was fascinated by the culture and decided to leave her kids at home with her husband and here she is. I am so happy she chose La Margarita as part of her holiday here  – the first thing she asked when we picked her up from the coach terminal was when was she going to eat an as ado and drink a mate. She has obviously studied Argentina well! If all people from Indonesia are as charming as Meutia I  really hope we get more visitors from that country

This is David Cummings alias the English Gaucho hasta  luego

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Already Racing to 2015!

excellent diner prepared by Raquel
Amazing we are already racing towards 2015 and I haven’t even written my blog about Christmas and New Year of 2013-14. As always it was a loads of fun and as always La Margarita felt like the United Nations over the holidays. We had guests from all over including Sweden, UK, Norway, USA, Ireland, Venezuela, France, Canada, Holland and lets not forget Argentina. On Christmas Eve it was so hot that guests didn’t want to get out of the pool and in the end we had to empty it to get them out to start the celebrations (only joking). Once out of the pool the festivities started and we sat down to an incredible meal by Raquel, which was delicious together with an excellent wine supplied by our own sommelier Susana who had selected a lovely malbec tinto wine called La  Fraccion from a tiny vineyard in San Rafael  (have a look at Susana’s very interesting web site on Argentine wine  - good choice Susana lovely wine. Here as is tradition the meal is a selection of cold dishes. After the meal as is also tradition we opened our presents, drank more wine, light the fireworks and just had the best of times with our lovely guests
Trying to avoid Tibisay's toes!

On New Years Eve we had amongst our house full of guests our first ever visitors from Venezuela. Its a shame what is happening to that country as after talking to our guests Tibisay and her husband Roberto I wanted to visit there but it looks like until the political situation changes I will have to wait. Still we were all compensated by Tibisay who on the New Years Eve decided to give us all salsa lessons which was loads of fun and after which I have decided to continue I loved it so much – course not sure that Tibisay’s right toe liked it to much!  Not only was Tibisay a salsa expert we found out that she is a famous astrologer in Venezuela (here is her web page ) and she offered to read out charts for us. We all now know the future and I went straight down and put a big bet on Arsenal winning the Premiership this year – don’t doubt it its written in the stars!!
Well now the year has well and truly started and after shutting for three days so our staff could rest after an extremely business holiday season we are now back open and this weekend we are full again with people from all over the world – long may it run

This is David Cummings alias The Gaucho English hasta pronto