"The Motorcycle Diaries"
After reading this book, I learned a lot about who Che Guevara was that I never knew about him before. More than just two men traveling South America, their trip inspired Guevara to become a man he didn't expect to be. No dry history lesson or travelogue, this biography is supported with the humor of Guevara's diaries, as the 23-year-old Ernesto - a frail asthmatic who had not yet taken the nickname Che - and the slightly older Alberto set off from Buenos Aires on a beat-up 1930's motorcycle that they name "La Ponderosa" (the Mighty One). At first, their adventures are amusing, with a stop for a visit by Ernesto's disapproving socialite girlfriend, who tries to talk him out of the trip. Things get more serious after the travelers cross the border into Chile - a country they're forced to flee after Ernesto flirts with a mechanic's wife, while La Ponderosa proves unequal to the snow of the Andes - scenes which unfold in a fairly unforgettable series of images, all of which I thought were beautiful and each as different and extreme as they get. Seeing this movie allowed us to see how the land of South America is unique in each and every part.
They will travel through the Andes, along the coast of Chile, across the Atacama Desert meeting up with workers booted off their land by an American mining company, and into the Peruvian Amazon and reach Venezuela just in time for Alberto's 30th birthday. Ernesto's political thoughts are further stoked in Machu Picchu in Peru, where he finds the descendants of the once-proud Incas living in poverty, where the majestic ruins and the extraordinary significance of the Inca heritage have a profound impact on the young men. During the travel they came across human poverty and suffering. They met a couple who had had their land taken away from them by the landowners and volunteered for three weeks at the San Pablo leper colony in the north of Peru. As they arrive at a leper colony deep in the...
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