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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Blink


Louisa out riding with a  lovely group of guest from Holland
I am reading a great book at the moment called Blink by Malcolm Galdwell.  It could just as well  have been called “I Got a Feeling” which come to think of it would make a better title – umm ok only  my opinion. The book is about those moments when we see or do something for the very first time we get an instant feeling that something is just right and it needs to be acted on. I had it a lot of times when I bought a house. I would arrive at a particular house and I would think immediately this is the one - it was a Blink moment. Course then friends would point out that it’s the first house I had looked at and I shouldn’t buy the first one I had seen. They advised me to look at a hundred or so more. Course guess what happened yep the first house was the best and but by the time I got round to realising it the property had been sold.
 
The book Blink goes into depth about this and how we should trust   our instincts more as they had been honed over thousands of years. Our brain the book claims can often compute things in an instant giving us enough info to make a decision almost instantly. Me, I am a firm believer in the authors theory. It just happens to many times for it to be ignored.

The last time it happened to me was when I placed an ad for someone to run the La Margarita on a daily basis for me Raquel who has done a great job wanted to retire and I needed someone to fill her place. I placed the ad and had loads of responses from wonderful and well-qualified people. However, one email I received just stood out. I read the email and I knew this was a Blink moment. I knew that the person who wrote this email was the person for the job. I knew in an instant or as the book says in the blink of an eye. I spoke to the applicant on Skype and I knew after the first few seconds she was the one for job-the chosen one

I spoke to my mates about it and they quite rightly said that of course I should meet her before I give her the job. That was good advice but I knew I didn’t need to. I knew that she had the job even before we got talking. However, I did go and meet her in the North of England but the meeting only confirmed my original Blink moment. That Blink moment   told me in the blink of an eye that Louisa Bowran was going to be running La Margarita

A few weeks after our first contact Louisa was on a plane to Argentina to take control of the estancia. Raquel could now do what she had been asking to do for   ages and that was to retire.  Louisa arrived on a horrible stormy day tired from jet lag but with a huge smile. We set out for the estancia with the storm blowing a gale.  When we arrived on the earth road just before the estancia the car decided it preferred the ditch to the road and we promptly skidded into the ditch. Did she scream or panic not a bit it. She looked at me as if to say ok lets get this sorted. A few minutes later a truck stops and the driver hooks us up and pulls us out of the ditch.

What an induction to life on La Margarita but she is a cool customer is our Louisa and from that very first day she took the estancia to heart. She is doing a mighty fine job. She loves everything about the estancia and it shows. She loves the guest, the animals, the pampas and the life style.  She has already received great comments on Trip Advisor from guests who have enjoyed Louisa wonderful hospitality and professionalism. She sorts out easily what seem un-sortable problems and is a natural with the horses and the gaucho life.
I knew the moment I started to read her email all those months ago that she was the person to run the estancia and it has come to pass. 


I know this is the second blog I have written about Louisa but I am a big fan of hers.  If you come here  you may be to  and you can be assured she will make your stay with us wonderful. She is as they say here “lo mas” the best

This is David Cummings alias The English Gaucho hasta pronto




Saturday, August 30, 2014

A warm welcome to Louise Bowran our new Estancia La Margarita manager

Raquel, my right hand person who has been with me for more years than I care to think has said that she would like to take semi–retirement. For those of you who know her no one
deserves it more than her for sure. She has been a loyal and wonderful manager and chef to La Margarita and will be sorely missed. But the good news is that she will continue to cook part time on the estancia. She has worked for me for ten years and worked for the original family owners before me for seven so nobody knows more than here about the estancia. She is a hard act to follow but I think we have someone who will try very hard.

Taking Raquel’s place in the manager stakes is Louise Bowran from the UK. I am very excited to have Louise working for La Margarita as she brings a lot of experience to the estancia. She worked for many years for Explore as a guide worldwide and has vast experience in the tourism and travel business working with them.  She has travelled worldwide and been in situations that a steady nerve and stamina were needed. The estancia certainty has its moments but from what I have seen so far I doubt that there is nothing she won’t be able to sort out and find a solution for.

She is also a very accomplished horse person having been involved with horses for many years working in various countries with some very well known riding stables She has been involved in the training of horses and she is a qualified riding instructor. She recently worked on one of the most prestige’s tourist ranches in Canada.  If you love horses you will love having a chat with Louise about what she has done and been involved in.

She speaks perfect Spanish and she has said that working and running an estancia was a life long ambition and its great that she has chosen La Margarita. She is very excited about The Gaucho School and getting it up and running and will be a key figure in doing so I am positive about that

I am sure her experience can only benefit the estancia and more importantly the stay of guests who come and visit us.

Welcome Louise.

This is David Cummings alias The English Gaucho  hasta pronto


Monday, August 11, 2014

Good to be back n'est pas



After a great time in the UK with family and friends enjoying the best summer there for 14 years I am now back on La Margarita.  Ok ok lets not talk about the World Cup that I was sure we would win and instead Argentina so nearly did.    Truth is it’s always good to be back to see the beautiful pampas and breath fresh air, see the wonderful staff again, drink mate and say hello to the animals. What a time to be back, the cold weather has gone, the dollar, euro and sterling are now even stronger making Argentina even cheaper and we have some exciting events planned for the coming months on La Margarita

Talking about a weaker peso for those of you thinking of coming to Argentina don’t forget to bring a little bit of cash with you. You can change it on what they call the blue market here for at least 50% more than the official rate. There is a shortage of hard currency here and you will find lots of places to change the cash. But beware where you do change the money as some, not so client friendly hotels, will try to give you a really poor rate. If you want to check the rate more or less buy the Clarin newspaper and on the news the economy pages you will see the rate. It’s called the blue rate. If you are worried about changing the money Adriana in our BA office will do it for you and she will make sure you get a great rate.
 
Over the next few months we will be putting together the events that guests can choose to do in The Gaucho School. Events such as cattle round up, learning to lasso, ride bare back, competition participation on horse back and barrel racing will all be offered. Its looks like it will be an exciting time here on the estancia and I will give more information on forthcoming blogs. To help run The Gaucho School we have some very experienced people coming to the estancia and the whole show will be run by Louise from England and Celia from Argentina two very experienced horse people (more about them in forthcoming blogs)

We also will be buying more cows in the next few weeks to add to out herd to use for The Gaucho School
All in all this is going to be an exciting and interesting time to be on La Margarita and it would be great if you could make it to see us

This is David Cummings alias The English Gaucho hasta la vista


Friday, July 18, 2014

Its All Over Now for it to Begin

Ceci part of The Gaucho School team getting branding irons ready
for  branding new calves 
Well that’s it all over for another four years. What a time we had England out in two games our worst World Cup ever and Argentina very very nearly making me eat my hat with getting to the final and just so nearly nearly penalties away from the cup  - until of course The Germans put a stop to that with a fabulous goal in the last 7 minutes. Well done to them they played great and we didn’t  - Argentina did but not well enough but who cares now it’s in the past and it was all great fun while it lasted. Thing is of course I came to the UK to be in the UK when we lifted the cup while my excellent team keep the estancia operating smoothly and a big thank you to them for that. As you can imagine Argentina totally stopped when the World Cup was on but now its time to get moving again. I fly back to England (without the cup!) at the end of July to continue putting our team together for The Gaucho School and prepare for the coming season. I am looking forward to it and if you are thinking of visiting an estancia you won’t go far wrong with la linda Estancia Margarita. Also you may have seen the Argentine fans celebrating like they had won the World Cup. If you want to see them in full force get to a game here in Argentina it’s a fantastic experience and don’t believe the bad publicity cos you will be safe. If you want some advise going to a game just email me and I will be happy to help you.


This is David Cummings alias The English Gaucho hasta pronto

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Argentina is Closed for Four Weeks!


If you didn’t know already the World Cup is now upon us. If you don’t like football I would advise you to stay away from Argentina because here nothing else matters during the World Cup. On the evening news they even have a clock counting down the minutes before the World Cup starts. Even if Argentina was about to be taken over by Martians you can bet that it would make only the second story – the main one would be something like Messi (if you don’t know who he is shame on you) sneezed today!

One of the reasons I came to Argentina all those years ago was to see a football match. I had heard from Ossie Adilles (the famous Spurs player) that it was the most exciting spectator sport you can see here in Argentina. Ossie was right. The first day I arrived all those years ago with Bri my mate off we went to a River game and Ossie was spot on it was a fantastic even amazing event. If you are coming during World Cup you will find it impossible to get away from the beautiful game. You will see tears of joy as each goal is scored by Messi’s mates and tears of despair as goals go in against them. If you are in a hotel you will hear the celebrations in the streets as games are won and a sullen silence if games are lost – its normal don’t let it alarm you.

The count down is nearly over -" in 7 hours the World Cup starts" says the countdown 
No doubt about it Argentina have a great chance to make it three World Cups wins. The last time being in 1986 with the charismatic Maradona and his amazing hand of God goal. Can they win it again I really hope so after all I live here  and there is nowhere thats loves football more  than  Argentina   but  umm I am not sure if they can do it . 

If it was decided on build up to the event Argentina would win it hands down. It’s been nothing short of hysteria here for the past 6 months but now the talking is over and the action about to begin.  Yes they probably have the best team; the best players and they are playing in South America so home match. They also have an easy access to the second round. Does that make them champions? Sadly I don’t think so. They have some wonderful players no doubt as mentioned some of the best in the world but on the big stage this team nearly always come up short. The team lacks personality they have been infiltrated by the politicians and politics and at times they seem totally embarrassed by it all. I think that has taken the edge of them and that in Brazil they will come up short again. I hope I am wrong but I am a betting man and I won’t be putting my money on Messi’s men to win it sadly.

Who do I think will win, why England of course, that’s why I am taking a plane to the UK so that I can be with my countrymen when we lift the cup for the second time. Ok ok I know I know but I have to think we will win it or otherwise what’s the point of being in the competition.   

Course if England or Argentina don’t win it maybe Uruguay will make it a third win for Pepe their charismatic President. Apart from England, Argentina or Uruguay I don’t care who wins I will just enjoy it. Course once the World Cup is over here in Argentina there will be another football event to replace it – here there is always another match to raise the temperature   - you can bet on that.


This is David Cummings alias The English Gaucho hasta pronto