In 1952 Alberto Granado, a young doctor, and his friend Ernesto Guevara, a 23-year-old medical student from a distinguished Bues Aires family decided to explore their continent. They set off from Cordoba in Argentina on a 1949 Norton 500cc motorbike and travelled through Chile, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela. They worked as casual labourers along the way, as football coaches, medical assistants, and haulage hands. The poverty and exploitation of the native population changed them for ever. Each man later wrote an account of the journey. Alberto Granado realised later in his life that what they saw and encountered on their journey represented a crucial turning point. It strengthened Alberto's determination to forge his career as a scientist. And it started the process that was to turn Ernesto - the debonair, fun-loving student - into Che, the man who fought for the liberation of Cuba and became the heroic and glamorous warrior fighting for freedom and social justice, who remains to this day in people's minds Latin America's foremost hero and one of the world's great revolutionaries. A companion to Che's Motorcycle Diaries, Alberto Granado's book is a moving and at times hilarious account of how two carefree young men found their true purpose in life.
Alberto Granado was born in Hernando, Province of Cordoba in 1922. From December 1951 to July 1952 he travelled, after attending the University of Cordoba, all over Latin America with Ernesto Guevara de la Serna. When the dictator Perez Gimenez was ousted in Venezuela he was put in charge of the reorganisation of the School of Bioanalysis of the University of Caracas where he worked until 1961. He then went to live in Cuba where he worked at various universities. Granado went on to become a consultant with the Department of Genetics at the National Health Centre for Stockbreeding and Farming. He died in 2011, aged 88. Luc-a Alvarez de Toledo grew up and was educated in Argentina and was awarded a Scholarship at the University of Delhi. Having worked as a journalist and broadcaster she settled in London in 1968 and established herself as a professional interpreter and translator, working at the highest levels for Governments, Corporations and international institutions. Her background, knowledge of South America and long-standing friendship with Alberto Granado have enabled her to bring a unique understanding to the first English language translation of this book. She has also translated Young Che by Ernesto Guevara Lynch, Che Guevara's father.