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The Motorcycle Diaries
(Ernesto Che Guevara)

Years before becoming thefamous 'Che' Guevara, Ernesto Guevara set out with his friend, Alberto Granadoon a journey through Latin America. On a break from taking exams at medical school(Guevara) and working at a leper colony (Granado), the trip provides both menwith great insights into their continent and changes them tremendously.Guevara's diary describes as much the beauty of the landscape and the peoplethey encounter as Granado's rickety Norton 500 motorcycle, ironically named LaPoderosa (The Mighty One). Setting out from Cordoba in December 1951, the stops on their journey aretherefore as much determined by where the motorcycle breaks down, as well asthe location of friends and acquaintances. It takes them from the foot of the Andes inArgentina, up the coast in Chile, through Peru and Columbia and finally to Caracas in Venezuela. Where personal connections end, Guevara and Granadoapproach the local guard or hospital, asking for accommodation and food inexchange for their medical expertise and odd jobs. After many accidents, LaPoderosa finally breaks down halfway through Chile and forces the friends to continue their journey by hitchhiking.But locals greet them with open arms and are eager to help after a Chileannewspaper prints an article about the 'leprosy experts' and their journey,making the two adventurers local celebrities. Another highlight at the end oftheir trip is a stay at a leper colony in San Pablo in Peru where they improve the patients? lives by treatingthem as equals rather than sick people, playing football and celebrating festivals.The trip ends in Caracas where Guevara and Granado part ways after more thanseven months. Guevara?s diary provides insights into his early years andconnects the reader with a more human side of the revolutionary.

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