Gael Garcia Bernal (the young ‘Che’) and Rodrigo De La Serna (his trusty sidekick) with the beloved Poderosa in its better days.“Due to a premonition, Alberto didn’t want to drive, so I sat up front though we only did a few kilometres before stopping to fix the failing gearbox. A little further on, as we rounded a tight curve at a good speed, the screw came off the back brake, a cow’s head appeared arounnd the bend, then many, many more of them, and I threw on the hand brake which, soldered ineptly, broke too. For some moments I saw nothing more than the blurred shape of cattle flying past us on each side, while poor Poderosa gathered speed down the steep hill. By an absolute miracle we managed to graze only the leg of the last cow, but in the distance a river was screaming toward us with terrifying efficacy.”
There it is; a dramatic finale to the ‘Mighty One’ from Che Guevara’s ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’. As a direct result of reading this book I have come to love old Norton’s. I can imagine myself doing a crazy tour of South America on a clunky motorcycle. But not one as unreliable as this! I felt a twinge of sadness as it finally gave up the ghost. Yet again, Ernesto is the one getting into trouble, as Alberto’s fine senses steers him clear of danger!
FUN FACT: Rodrigo De La Serna who plays Alberto is in fact a second cousin of the real Ernesto Guevara.