We left Purmamarca at around 11 am and gradually ascended to over 3700 masl or around 12000 feet asl. The road was good and there was no traffic. The vistas were nice; antiplano type of scrub with some nice colors in the surrounding mountains.
We arrived in La Quiaca at about 2:45 pm (having driven about 220 km). La Quiaca is a poor uninteresting town that was pretty well closed up on Sunday afternoon. We looked at the Hotel Turista and one other new Hosteria Refugio del Sol. Both had tiny rooms with no comfort.
We chose Munay Tierra de Coloras, Belgrano 61, La Quiaca, fono: (54-3885) 423-924, e-mail: e-mail: email@example.com for AP$85. We decided to stay here in a "family room" that had a large room with 3 single beds, 2 comfortable chairs and a cable TV with lots of channels. There was an area in the back of that room with a small table and a space for a kitchen that wasn't completed.
There was a separate bedroom and a bathroom with a shower that was a part of the room, not at all separated by a curtain or anything. There was supposed to be hot water but we were told that everything freezes at night so that there would be no water and we would not be able to take a shower in the morning.
We drove out to the touristic town of Yavi and we were unimpressed. We went back to La Quiaca and had a glass of our own wine and cheese before dinner, watching the news (of the Argentinean road blockades). We decided that it had been a good idea to leave Argentina--having had enough of the farmers road blocks.
We ate dinner at Kasola, La Quiaca Frente a la Plaza Centenario for AP$40/US $13 and then went back to our apartment to watch TV with all heaters going and comforters around us.
The rooms were cold and we were given 3 electric heaters (and we used ours as well). It never got to be more than 18C/64.4F degrees in the bedroom with 2 of the electric heaters going (and a lot colder in the other room). Still in the morning, when it was -5C/20F degrees (or less) outside, it was more comfortable to have our own breakfast of cereal, fruit, milk (and their coffee) at our little table in our room than in the dining area of the reception.
We were asked why we hadn't responded to an e-mail that was sent to us on Sunday and this is Dimitri's response: "Actually the reason you did not receive a response to your last email is that yesterday we were in a little crappy hotel in a dismal little town at the border between Argentina and Bolivia at 3700 meters altitude and there was no hot water or heat let alone internet!! Today the situation hasimproved considerably and we are in a resort hotel in a big city (Tarija) in Bolivia."