Number of Pages: 165
Genre: Travelogue, non-fiction
Synopsis: 2 boys on a warm sunny afternoon, sipping on mate, spontaneously decide to travel to North America. They decide on a route which takes them through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Columbia. This is a story of travel adventures and awakening which travel brings to you.
I have always seen Ernesto 'Che' Guevara on t-sirts and caps in my brother's closet. 'He was a revolutionary' that was how my brother introduced me to him. We were teenagers then. After that it was around last week that I came across this book, and since it evoked some nostalgia, I instantly picked it up.
The fun thing about any book with travel tales is, it is full of adventures. Yes even the mundane, asking a stranger to let a broke you (che) and your friend (Alberto Grenado) spend a night at his place, is more than adventure. The sheer excitement of the unknown keeps you seek new places and people. And I think that's the most wonderful thing about travelling. It satisfies the wanderlust. The book is awesome on that front. If you have seen the map of South America, then the audacity of the travel plan will hit you first. Then imagining that the two boys did all that in the 1950s on a La Poderosa (the bike - the mighty one literally) makes you feel awed even more! They keep on going through rough terrains, bad weather, wind, rain, snow, but the aim of the doctors to visit the leper colony in San Pablo, where they are profoundly affected by the conditions of the disease and the treatment meted out to the sufferers. The book also gives one a scoop of the fascinating Inca civilization through the eyes of these outsiders.
It is said that Che was deeply affected by the poverty, suffering, he encountered during his travails. And that was a huge part of the person, the revolutionary, he became later on. Personally, I think travel does change one as a person. Everyone undergoes their own metamorphosis, be it in the form of new experiences, stretching horizons, or the universality of the human condition.
The book is a delight for all the wanderers. It made me want to pack my bags and sail away to lands unexplored.
Price: Rs. 224 (flipkart)