If you want to ride horses all day, learn Spanish and don't mind playing host to a bunch of different & interesting tourists then this is a place you'd want to volunteer.
There is no cellphone reception and little internet connectivity via Satellite because when you're at Los Potreros the last thing you want, is to be connected to the fast and furious world we now live in.
The place is so tranquil with parrots, pigeons, ponies and puppies each singing their own song on the front lawn of your bedroom.
If you're lucky you might even have a foal or two on your front door step.
Lou is a collector of horses and dogs. It really does say something about her kind nature.
Current count is 140 horses and 9 dogs (soon to be 10) with a few Aberdeen Angus cattle dotted around the property.
Now let's see if I can name all these dogs:
Clyde, Haggis, Noodles or Neeps, Trumpet, Poppy, Boomerang, Gilly, Fanny, Delphi.
Nailed it. Took me 6 days to get there!
The main stable consists of Criollo's and Paso's, each with their own unique character.
When at the Estancia you could be riding up to 6 hrs a day, depending on what needs to be done around the farm.
Pack some stretchy pants and a lot of sunscreen. They'll provide you with boots (if required,) helmets and half chaps.
I spent eight days soaking up the beautiful weather, the amazing hospitality and the jaw dropping scenery.
I didn't want to leave!!
A couple more days would have done quite nicely. Too much longer and I may have never left.
I'm sure I would have got given the heave ho though 😊
During our rides I went to the top of the world, swam under a waterfall, mustered cattle, learn the basic art of polo, visited a historic church and planetarium and got bewildered by the sound of clicking insects all across the property, which to date I don't know what they are!
I fell in love with every animal I rode, but Catamarca came out on top.
A steel grey and white Peso mare had one of the best Peso's of the horses I rode and one of the smoothest canters. She was a little dynamo. Poor thing had to lug me around for three rides - she got her fair share of pats though.
It's about now Id like to give a shout out to my guides - Ross, Robyn, Rochelle, B and Nick. What an opportunity you all have and what an amazing group of people you are. I got to know a few of you well and the adventures you've all had to date leave me in awe.
The gauchos were also great fun. Laughing at me when I tried to beat them in a race and showing their livestock skills in the yards. They do a wonderful job at guiding us all over the property.
Some of the adventures you guides are planning on having (how about those ex-girlfriends Nick) sound amazing. I wish you all well and don't worry I'll make sure I can find an opportunity for you in NZ somewhere for those who want to come down under!
My fellow guests ranged from a classical piano player to a US diplomat, to a newly married English couple (in their 60's & 70's) on honeymoon; a Canadian business owner and a hotelier couple from Portugal who were of Turkish and German decent.
That just gives you an idea of the type of people who visit and who can stay there.
For me the Estancia was a home away from home.
A lifestyle I once knew and a lifestyle that's on the horizon again.
The place is rustic.
But the service is gold standard.
I am so thankful for a friend finding out about this place in the New Zealand Horse & Pony magazine and passing on the details.
I want to go back.
If I can convince the other half it's a good idea then you may just see me again.
If you want to really get to know Argentine rural culture this is the place to do it. Not only are you getting among the farming culture but experiencing traditional Argentine food.
The kitchen staff need to be highly commended for their efforts in catering for this gluten & dairy free customer. I can be a bit lazy with it sometimes, especially when it involves cheese, but they always had an option available for me.
Your test dummy commends you. Thank you for making it easy for me, as some places wouldn't put in a quarter of the effort you did.
Normally it's easy for me to put words around an experience but with this one....not so much.
If you want a unique, exceptional, laid back experience which shows you true Argentina.....
Go to Estancia Los Potreros.
You won't regret it!!