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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

La Posta de las Cabras - Ruta Nacional 68, Km. 88, Salta

"This is possibly the most picturesque driving lesson anyone has ever had", I proclaim. Kate and I are on an abandoned airplane runway, over 2000m above sea level, arid red tinged mountains in every direction and not a soul in sight. We are in the tiny village of Cachi, in Salta province in the north of Argentina and I am teaching Kate how to drive manual in our Golf hire car. The lesson is going as smoothly as can be expected.

Fast forward twenty-something hours and we are en route to our next destination, Cafayate, Kate securely in the driver's seat shifting gears with aplomb. On the roadside to our right a sign pointing to a goat farm comes into view causing us to indecisively debate whether to make a stop. Ultimately we agree that the promise of adorable goats and delicious goat cheese is too much to resist, so Kate slows to a gradual stop and starts to do a three point turn although our lesson on reversing is still pending. Next thing we know we are squarely in the middle of the road blocking both lanes having stalled mid-turn and there is a car steadily approaching from our left. Kate chooses the flight option, flings herself out of the car while I clamber from the passenger's seat to the driver's seat as quickly as my legs will allow me. The approaching car has reached us at this point and I am aware of the glaring faces bearing down on me as I manoeuvre the car back in the direction of the awaiting goats. Kate climbs back into the Golf dazed and then we are laughing with relief.

Once safely parked, a semi-traumatised Kate sits at a table in the farm cafe and we do the only sensible thing: order cake. A baked ricotta cheesecake - made with goat cheese of course - and flavoured with orange. The goat cheese flavour is surprisingly subtle. Dense, moist and comforting, the cake takes off the edge of our recent fleeting moment of panic. Agreeing that it was worth the raised blood pressures, we vow to return the following day for more baked goods and possibly some cheese too, albeit in a (hopefully) less dramatic manner.

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