Estancia Los Potreros in Cordoba, Argentina is a beautiful, remote ranch offering guests the opportunity to experience rural life in Argentina, enjoying horseback riding, fabulous home cooking and amazing local wine. We recently spoke to Georgia Beech who works at the Estancia to find out what life is like for her…
How does a typical day at the estancia start for you?
My mornings vary depending on the time of year but usually, in the summer months, my days start when the sun rises. I take the dogs out for a stroll in the early morning – usually along one of the tracks. We often pass the burrowing owls, who are beginning their days sitting on the posts watching over the estancias herd of Aberdeen Angus. The dawn or ‘madrugada’ is really the best and most beautiful time of the day; it is warm but not too hot and the whole farm is quiet, you can feel a sense of anticipation for the day to come.
At around 7 am the gauchos head out to start bringing in the horses – both the sound and the view of the herd galloping over the horizon never gets old. Once I get back to the estancia I set up breakfast for our guests, by which point the horses are in and I head to the corral to check them and write up the ride list for the morning. From that point on the day can really go anywhere.
What does a typical day look like for your guests?
Every day at Los Potreros is different and every guest’s stay is unique. When guests arrive we sit down on the veranda, a glass of wine in hand and discuss what they would like to do, and if there is something particular that stood out when booking their stay. Of course, we are a working farm and every day is different depending on what is going on in the estancia. Typically breakfast is between half-past eight and ten o’clock, then we go out riding. This could be to a swimming pond, a hidden waterfall or even a day moving cows across the sierras. Lunch is always something different and again could be an asado with the gauchos at our cattle station or a picnic lunch under the trees. The afternoons are slower – time to relax in a hammock, lie by the pool or head out with the dogs for a walk. Then afternoon tea and finally the option of an afternoon ride. These are my favourite as the time of day means you’re riding in the golden sunlight – it is pretty magical. A wine tasting, live music or dinner outside under the stars could follow in the evening – but that’s just a few of the many different activities we offer.
What’s the most unusual or incredible thing you’ve experienced working at Estancia Los Potreros? Or perhaps your most memorable moment?
I think when I first started working at Los Potreros everything was new and exciting and unlike things I had ever witnessed before. However, now, as farm life has become the norm it is the little things I find incredible. Working alongside the gauchos is something that is pretty special, and their attitude and knowledge is something you find in very few places. They have a ‘can-do’ attitude, which is very much about finding ways to make things possible even if it doesn’t seem that way. I think this is pretty unusual in today’s world! We really encourage our guests to Be More Gaucho.
A memorable moment of this season is something a little different. We have had a lot of young horses coming through and beginning their working life; there is nothing quite like riding a young horse for the first time, and you can’t help but get this excited feeling in the pit of your stomach when you are about to finish training a horse which you know is going to bring hundreds of people happiness and joy over the coming years.
What attracted you to work in this part of the world/at the estancia?
My childhood dream was actually to work on a ranch in Australia, then as I grew up my ideas changed and I became more determined to travel the world. So, as soon as I left school I started cooking to earn money and when I stumbled across the job advert for Los Potreros it seemed like a great combination of the two. I think after two months of working at Los Pots as a chef, I had reimagined and remembered everything that as a young girl I wanted and so I quickly asked to come back as a riding guide the following season. Latin America attracted me as it was a place I had never been to; it felt foreign and exciting and the added bonus was learning a second language. When I first found Los Potreros it was supposed to be nine months and then I would head back to the UK, but I truly found a place to call home on the estancia and it has become a lifestyle for me.
Favourite time of the year, or tips on when to visit/stay
February is the most beautiful time on the farm – the pampas grasses bloom in a purple pink and just for a few short weeks you get to witness this mesmerising spectacle. Every year it catches me by surprise as I forget how incredible it looks; it blossoms so quickly that it seems as if they just appear one morning. At this time of year, on our sunset rides when the light is low, the grasses are golden and the pampas grasses just shine, it feels like you’re living in a movie, it is truly magical.
On the 2nd of February, we also celebrate the festival of La Candelaria, a homage to the Virgin Mary. Mass is followed by a procession around the stations of the cross. A statue of the Virgin Mary is carried by worshippers, and those on foot are followed by gauchos on horseback, with both the riders and horses dressed in their finest. It is really a great day and with our guests staying we ride down to the local church to watch the parade. It is an experience for everyone children, photographers, horse lovers or just those who want to witness a little bit of what Argentina is all about. It was a great treat this year as I was allowed to join in on the procession and will definitely be an experience I will never forget.
What advice would you give travellers coming to stay at the estancia/in Argentina?
Argentina is a huge country but I think travellers often get caught up in trying to travel to lots of places in a short amount of time, spending only a night or two in each location. For me, Argentina is definitely a place to stop and absorb, and enjoy the views and culture so that would be my key advice to travellers. Focus on the quality of time in each place, as opposed to trying to cover the entire country without really having the opportunity to see it. Every region is different and I would say my best experiences have been with locals; taking me to hidden restaurants, mountains or even riding in the foothills in Salta. These are experiences that you rarely get time to have as a tourist. I think guests coming to the estancia often book for three nights and then wish they’d stayed longer. Although we are known for our incredible horses it is not all about the riding at Los Potreros; it’s a great place to switch off, and, with limited wifi, it really is a place to escape and relax. I think that is something worth considering. I came here in 2017 as the assistant chef and it was in the Los Pots Kitchen, that I developed a love for the estancia, and Argentina as a whole. Everyone in Argentina has stories to tell and I think if you can give the locals time to let you in on their world it definitely makes the whole experience better (although I think this could be said about anywhere). The estancia is about more than just horses, it’s about food, family, friends and really sharing an experience like no other.
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