Ride through the revo­lu­tion

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - Front Page -

The Motorcycle Di­aries is one of the most iconic trav­el­ogues of all time. Fans will be ex­cited to learn that the youngest son of Che Gue­vara, the rev­o­lu­tion­ary fighter who made the trip, is launch­ing mo­tor­bike tours of Cuba this month.

Ernesto Gue­vara’s La Poderosa Tours (lapoderosa­tours.com) will run trips for bik­ers on two routes across Cuba us­ing Har­ley-David­sons.

The company is named after the mo­tor­bike used by Marx­ist rev­o­lu­tion­ary Che Gue­vara when he toured the South Amer­i­can con­ti­nent for nine months in 1952.

La Poderosa II (the Mighty II) was the nick­name the Ar­gen­tine med­i­cal stu­dent gave to his mo­tor­bike, a Nor­ton 500cc, which he rode 8,000 miles from Ar­gentina to Venezuela along with his bio­chemist com­pan­ion Al­berto Granado.

The ac­count of this lifechang­ing road trip was first pub­lished as a mem­oir, The Motorcycle Di­aries, in 1993 and sub­se­quently turned into a 2004 film with the same ti­tle.

Che Gue­vara was in Mex­ico in 1955 when he met young fire­brand Fidel Castro. Gue­vara’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary iden­tity had been forged in Gu­atemala two years ear­lier.

To­gether with Fidel, and Raúl Castro, Fidel’s younger brother, the rebels with a cause plot­ted the over­throw of Cuba’s then dic­ta­tor Ful­gen­cio Batista. When Fidel’s grass­roots revo­lu­tion suc­ceeded in 1959, Che Gue­vara was at Fidel’s side.

Ernesto Gue­vara, 49, is the son of Che and his sec­ond wife Aleida March. He has teamed up with his friend Camilo Sánchez and me­chanic Ser­gio Mo­rales to lead the La Poderosa trips.

Ernesto told Tele­graph Travel: “I have been a fan of clas­sic Har­leys all my life and I like to re­store them, too. My love of bikes, of bike trips and of Cuba, and the de­sire to show my fel­low Har­ley bik­ers my beau­ti­ful coun­try, has been the rea­son for set­ting up the tours.”

La Poderosa Tours cov­ers two routes – dubbed Fuser 1 and Fuser 2 for the nick­name Che Gue­vara had in his younger years – us­ing ei­ther a Har­ley Tour­ing Street Glide or a Dyna Wide Glide.

As well as rid­ing past the ubiq­ui­tous images of Che Gue­vara painted on bill­boards across the is­land, tour high­lights in­clude vis­its to places con­nected to the rev­o­lu­tion­ary: the Co­man­dan­cia del Che (a small mu­seum ded­i­cated to him) at the mon­u­men­tal 18th-cen­tury Cabaña fortress at Ha­vana’s har­bour, where Che had his head­quar­ters; and Che Gue­vara’s mau­soleum in Santa Clara.

In 1965, Che Gue­vara sev­ered his ties with Cuba to ful­fil his am­bi­tion to ex­port revo­lu­tion to other coun­tries. In 1966, he left for Bo­livia and formed a guer­rilla force. He was cap­tured and ex­e­cuted in 1967 in La Higuera. It wasn’t un­til 1997 that Gue­vara’s re­mains were dis­cov­ered and sent to Cuba to be in­terred in the mau­soleum that stands in the Plaza de la Revolu­ción. Claire Boob­byer

It’s good news for Bri­tish skiers as mount­ing com­pe­ti­tion has meant price falls on equip­ment, passes, ski tu­ition and liv­ing costs in most re­sorts in Europe and North Amer­ica. Of 27 re­sorts sur­veyed by the Post Of­fice, prices were found to have dropped in 19. The in­creased value of ster­ling year-on-year (ex­cept against the US dol­lar) also means that spend­ing money will stretch fur­ther.

Manch­ester will be­come the only air­port out­side London to of­fer a di­rect route to China when Cathay Pa­cific be­gins a flight to Hong Kong on Mon­day. The flight will run four times a week, tak­ing 12 hours.

Ernesto Gue­vara, like his world-fa­mous fa­ther Che, has long been a motorcycle fan

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