Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
In my former life strumming a guitar for a living I was often asked to sing the wonderfully evocative song “A Horse with No Name” by
Ok what does this song have to do with happiness or La Margarita? Bear with me cos believe me it does and here’s why......................
When I purchased La Margarita I purchased some of the animals with it and some of those animals were horses. What happened was that after I had signed and exchanged for the estancia Enriqueta, the former owner, rang me and said I had a few hours to come up with the cash to buy 9 horses that were on La Margarita. After a few terse words from me (after all she had said that I had plenty of time to decide if I wanted to buy the horses not two hours!) we did the deal – after all I did need the horses. That weekend I drove down to La Margarita to inspect my purchase of potential Shergars, where I was greeted by Gomez the former caretaker on La Margarita and we both went into the fields in search of the horses I had purchased. When we found them I asked him what their names were. A broad grim lit up his toothless face as he looked at me in amazement. I wasn’t sure if it was my bad Spanish he couldn’t understand or my new trendy gaucho outfit I had lovingly purchased in Tapalque. It turned out to be neither as he explained that the horses had no names and that was the gaucho way. Names are for cissies seems to be the general attitude. Umm, I thought now I know how
La Margarita is a very traditional estancia and I like to keep it that way – keeping the traditions to me seems to make sense. There is too much change in this world in my view, so let’s keep the status quo. This therefore would apply to the horse’s names. Guests coming to La Margarita would often ask, as we were saddling up their horse “what’s my horse’s name?” I looked at Lalo our head gaucho and he looked at me as I explained that in keeping with tradition the horses have no names. “But we have to give them names” claimed our guests. After the hundredth guest asked us “what is my horses name?” I had a chat with Lalo and told him “amigo, necesitamos dar nombres for the horses” (we have to give our horses names). He chuckled, just as Gomes had all that time ago, and went off muttering something under his breath which sounded suspiciously like “ what will my boss ask for next - names for the cows? Why stop there? – let’s name the sheep and, hey let’s not leave out the chickens”. However, despite all his protestations, over the next few months we did name a few horses. One of them is called Dolores - named after a lovely and wonderfully eccentric guest from the
So thanks to Anna and Adrian all the horse now have names but will Lalo keep up the new tradition. If the last week is anything to go by I and the other guests we had on La Margarita think it will be tough.
I don’t know where Anna and Adrian are now but wherever they have ended up this week, this is a very public thank you for coming visit is on La Margarita not once, but twice, on your honeymoon and for naming our horses – que tengan suerte ….
Just to say the final few days on La Margarita we had a ball with a wonderful mix of guests. We had Aaron and Giselle (sorry if I have spelt it wrong Giselle) our spies from Angola sorry Canada who every evening galloped of with Lalo on The Horses with Names for hours at a time riding over the never ending pampas. We had John and Matthew (our gaucho cyclist who proved that it is possible to ride into Tapalque from La Margarita as long as there are a dozen beer stops on the way!) together with their partners Charlotte who knows a good joke ( a bit short but funny all the same ) and Ann who knows a great drinking game (as long as your IQ is in the realms of Einstein) all from the UK. Not forgetting both Liz our Tango dancing New Yorker and Jo all the way from the linda highlands of Scotland. Wherever you all are now thanks to you all for the singing, the aerobatics lessons, jokes party games and general good fun- come back soon
Saludos and I wish all of you a very peaceful New Year
This is David Cummings alias The very English Gaucho writing on a hot day on Estancia La Margarita ,Tapalque looking forward to the challenges of 2009 – bring it on!