The Motorcycle Diaries

by

Ernesto Che Guevara

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Alberto Granado Character Analysis

Alberto is Ernesto’s friend and comrade in adventure. A fellow medical student, he shares Ernesto’s upper-middle class background, and both men aspire to become doctors at the beginning of the trip. Alberto is older than Ernesto and sometimes seems to be the more dominant personality, orchestrating the tricks and pranks that sometimes garner them assistance and sometimes get them in trouble. However, Ernesto eventually emerges as the more ideologically motivated and politically serious character, for whom the experiences of the journey are much more transformative. As Ernesto shifts towards politics and radicalism, Alberto’s original aspirations—to work towards social reform as a doctor—remain unchanged. Thus, Alberto emerges as a foil to Ernesto; Alberto’s somewhat static character highlights the extent to which his friend transforms.

Alberto Granado Quotes in The Motorcycle Diaries

The The Motorcycle Diaries quotes below are all either spoken by Alberto Granado or refer to Alberto Granado. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Class Consciousness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ocean Press edition of The Motorcycle Diaries published in 2003.
Chapter 2 Quotes

The enormity of our endeavor escaped us in those moments; all we could see was the dust on the road ahead and ourselves on the bike, devouring kilometers in our flight northward.

Related Characters: Ernesto Guevara (speaker), Alberto Granado
Related Symbols: La Poderosa
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

I now know, by an almost fatalistic conformity with the facts, that my destiny is to travel, or perhaps it's better to say that traveling is our destiny, because Alberto feels the same.

Related Characters: Ernesto Guevara (speaker), Alberto Granado
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

The huge figure of a stag dashed like a quick breath across the stream and his body, silver by the light of the rising moon, disappeared into the undergrowth. This tremor of nature cut straight to our hearts. We walked slowly so as not to disturb the peace of the wild sanctuary with which we were now communing.

Related Characters: Ernesto Guevara (speaker), Alberto Granado
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

[We were] no longer a pair of more or less likable vagrants with a bike in tow; no, we were now "The Experts," and we were treated accordingly.

Related Characters: Ernesto Guevara (speaker), Alberto Granado
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

It was our last day as "motorized bums"; the next stage seemed set to be more difficult, as "bums without wheels."

Related Characters: Ernesto Guevara (speaker), Alberto Granado
Related Symbols: La Poderosa
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

To a certain extent we had been knights of the road; we belonged to that long-standing "wandering aristocracy" and had calling cards with our impeccable and impressive titles. No longer. Now we were just two hitchhikers with backpacks, and with all the grime of the road stuck to our overalls, shadows of our former selves.

Related Characters: Ernesto Guevara (speaker), Alberto Granado
Related Symbols: La Poderosa
Page Number: 68
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 37 Quotes

Afterwards some of [the patients] came to say goodbye to us personally and in more than one case tears were shed as they thanked us for the little bit of life we'd given them. We shook their hands, accepted their gifts, and sat with them listening to football on the radio. If there's anything that will make us seriously dedicate ourselves to leprosy, it will be the affection shown to us by all the sick we've met along the way.

Related Characters: Ernesto Guevara (speaker), Alberto Granado
Page Number: 137
Explanation and Analysis:
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Alberto Granado Character Timeline in The Motorcycle Diaries

The timeline below shows where the character Alberto Granado appears in The Motorcycle Diaries. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
2. Pródromos (Forewarnings)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Ernesto Guevara and his friends, including Alberto Granado, are home for vacation from medical school. The young men pass the time in... (full context)
Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
Alberto suddenly suggests that he and Ernesto take a road trip to North America on La... (full context)
3. El Descubrimiento del Océano (Discovery of the Ocean)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
...thoughts. Ernesto reflects that, for him, the water is a comforting, familiar presence. However, for Alberto—who is almost 30—this is his first experience with the ocean. It is a new and... (full context)
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Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
Though the first 1,200 kilometers are supposedly the easiest of the journey, Ernesto and Alberto already have a sense that their trip will be difficult. The way Alberto had planned... (full context)
4. Paréntesis Amoroso (Lovesick Pause)
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Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
...to abandon his road trip and remain within the environment to which he is accustomed. Alberto becomes frustrated with Ernesto’s reluctance to move on. (full context)
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...somewhat seriously. She gives him her gold bracelet as a love token, but Ernesto and Alberto turn this gesture into a joke, implying they might sell it when the going gets... (full context)
5. Hasta Romper el Ultimo Vínculo (Until the Last Tie is Broken)
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The men visit two older doctors, friends of Alberto. Both visits are unsatisfying: one friend has an unpleasant wife who is clearly suspicious of... (full context)
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When Ernesto and Alberto depart from these friends, they leave civilization behind as well, sleeping in the open air... (full context)
6. Para Las Gripes, Cama (For the Flu, Bed)
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As soon as the doctor gives his permission, Ernesto and Alberto depart, but La Poderosa quickly suffers several breakdowns. Ernesto and Alberto have to find people... (full context)
7. San Martín de los Andes
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Moving onwards, Ernesto and Alberto are charmed by San Martín de los Andes, an impoverished lakeside town surrounded by majestic... (full context)
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In exchange for provisions for the next stage of the trip, Ernesto and Alberto agree to help a local man host a town barbecue. At the party, they play... (full context)
8. Exploración Circunvalatoria (Circular Exploration)
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In Junín de los Andes, Ernesto and Alberto run into some friends of Alberto’s, which means they have the luxury of spending the... (full context)
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Suppression and Reclamation of Indigenous Culture Theme Icon
Ernesto and Alberto continue on to Carrué Chico, a lake surrounded by mountains. They set off to climb... (full context)
10. Por El Camino de Los Siete Lagos (On the Seven Lakes Road)
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Ernesto and Alberto move onward towards the town of Barioloche. The cold is so severe that they can’t... (full context)
11. Y Ya Siento Flotar Mi Gran Raíz Libre y Desnuda… (And Now, I Feel my Great Roots Unearth, Free and…)
Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
Ernesto and Alberto are sheltering from a thunderstorm in a village police station crowded with other itinerants when... (full context)
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Even though Ernesto frets the night away, when the storm lets up and he and Alberto can start traveling again, the good weather and excitement of crossing the border into Chile—the... (full context)
12. Objetos Curiosos (Objects of Curiosity)
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Medicine, Politics, and Helping Others Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
...other doctors. They ask about their professional experiences and talk about their own aspirations. Leprosy (Alberto’s particular area of study) is neither common nor well-known in Chile, and people assume Ernesto... (full context)
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Medicine, Politics, and Helping Others Theme Icon
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Ernesto and Alberto capitalize on this perception, using their unexpectedly privileged status in order to gain respect and... (full context)
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Medicine, Politics, and Helping Others Theme Icon
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...a remote leper colony on Easter Island and gives them letters of introduction, Ernesto and Alberto decide to change their itinerary and travel there. (full context)
13. Los Expertos (The Experts)
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Ernesto and Alberto continue to enjoy what Ernesto characterizes as characteristically Chilean hospitality, which in fact depends on... (full context)
14. Las Dificultades Aumentan (The Difficulties Intensify)
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Medicine, Politics, and Helping Others Theme Icon
...breaks down twice, but this is no longer such a hindrance. Each time, Ernesto and Alberto are stranded, they quickly find help from people who recognize them as “The Experts” described... (full context)
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After befriending a local mechanic who fixes the motorcycle, Ernesto and Alberto accompany him to a village dance. The mechanic asks Ernesto to keep an eye on... (full context)
16. Bomberos Voluntarios, Hombres de Trabajo y Otras Yerbas (Firefighters, Workers and Other Matters)
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Although they’re no longer enjoying the luxuries of local high society, Ernesto and Alberto stay in the Chilean town of Los Angeles and find shelter among a station of... (full context)
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After this escapade, Ernesto and Alberto pay for passage to Santiago by working in a moving van. Once they arrive in... (full context)
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In the meantime, Ernesto and Alberto run into some friends from their hometown who are in Santiago for a polo tournament.... (full context)
17. La Sonrisa de La Gioconda (La Gioconda’s Smile)
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While Alberto tries to obtain passage via boat to the leper colony at Easter Island, Ernesto meets... (full context)
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Growing Up Theme Icon
...go to Easter Island because there are no ships for the next year. Ernesto and Alberto have to change their plans and move towards a new destination. Rather than crossing the... (full context)
18. Polizones (Stowaways)
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Although they hide for several hours, Ernesto and Alberto are eventually discovered by the sailors. The captain is furious, but eventually agrees to let... (full context)
19. Esta Vez, Fracaso (This Time, Disaster)
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When the ship lands, Ernesto and Alberto bid farewell to the crew. Next, they want to visit the Chuquicamata copper mine, where... (full context)
21. Kilometraje Arido (Arid Land for Miles and Miles)
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Ernesto and Alberto hike into the desert outside Chuquicamata without enough water or food. Quickly realizing that this... (full context)
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...next town if they participate in a soccer match during the weekend, and Ernesto and Alberto agree. (full context)
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In the interim, Ernesto and Alberto visit the area’s nitrate-purifying plants. Ernesto remarks how easy it is, without government regulation, for... (full context)
22. Acaba Chile (The End of Chile)
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In the port town of Arica, Ernesto and Alberto find shelter in a local hospital, although the local doctor treats them with “as much... (full context)
Suppression and Reclamation of Indigenous Culture Theme Icon
Ernesto and Alberto leave Arica and head along the coast towards the Peruvian border, stopping periodically to scavenge... (full context)
24. Tarata, El Mundo Nuevo (Tarata, the New World)
Suppression and Reclamation of Indigenous Culture Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
After crossing the border into Peru, Ernesto and Alberto spend a long time walking in inhospitable desert sun, unable catch a ride without having... (full context)
Suppression and Reclamation of Indigenous Culture Theme Icon
The next day, Ernesto and Alberto obtain a ride in a truck transporting a group of Aymara Indian workers through beautiful... (full context)
25. En Los Dominios de la Pachamama (In the Dominions of Pachamama)
Suppression and Reclamation of Indigenous Culture Theme Icon
Ernesto and Alberto continue from Tarata in a truck with another group of Indian laborers, who are fascinated... (full context)
Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Suppression and Reclamation of Indigenous Culture Theme Icon
...hut did, the Indians in the truck ask about Argentina. Spurred by enthusiasm, Ernesto and Alberto spin unrealistic stories of “the idyllic, beautiful life in our country” and promise to send... (full context)
26. El Lago del Sol (Lake of the Sun)
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Ernesto and Alberto make a fruitless stop in Puno, where they can neither swim in the freezing river... (full context)
27. Hacia El Ombligo del Mundo (Toward the Naval of the World)
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Ernesto and Alberto hitchhike to Juliaca, where they meet a drunk police sergeant who takes them out for... (full context)
Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Suppression and Reclamation of Indigenous Culture Theme Icon
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...higher social status by teasing the Indians, who in turn are too wary respond to Alberto’s attempts at conversation. Ernesto and Alberto feel sympathetic to the Indians, but their race and... (full context)
32. Cuzco a Secas (Cuzco Straight)
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Dr. Hermosa helps Ernesto and Alberto get “an approximate picture of Peruvian life” and procures them train tickets to Machu Picchu.... (full context)
33. Huambo
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After exhausting all available hospitality in Cuzco, Ernesto and Alberto head north towards a leper colony in Huambo. While waiting for rides, they spend aimless... (full context)
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A village mayor agrees to provide Ernesto and Alberto with horses for the journey to the leper colony. While they wait, they watch a... (full context)
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Suppression and Reclamation of Indigenous Culture Theme Icon
An indigenous old woman and young boy accost Ernesto and Alberto as they are riding through the mountains on the horses. Because they don’t speak Quechua,... (full context)
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Ernesto and Alberto procure horses for the trip back from a landowner. The landowner gives them an indigenous... (full context)
34. Siempre Al Norte (Ever Northward)
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Ernesto and Alberto stop for a few days in the town of Andahuaylas, where Ernesto recovers from his... (full context)
35. Por El Centro Peruano (Through the Center of Peru)
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Ernesto and Alberto continue to hitchhike, becoming increasingly hungry, since they’re running out of money to buy food.... (full context)
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Suppression and Reclamation of Indigenous Culture Theme Icon
...of the crime and bring a photo with them, which the sergeant shows Ernesto and Alberto, saying it’s “the classic image of a murderer.” (full context)
36. Esperanza Fallida (Shattered Hopes)
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Completely out of food and money, Ernesto and Alberto stop at the house of a friend’s brother-in-law and camp out there, eating his food.... (full context)
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In order to eat, Ernesto and Alberto resort to desperate measures. In one town, they meet some drunks at a bar and... (full context)
37. La Ciudad De Los Virreyes (The City of the Viceroys)
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Ernesto and Alberto also make the acquaintance of Dr. Hugo Pesce, a renowned leprologist who takes them under... (full context)
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At one point, Ernesto and Alberto go to see their first bullfight. Although Ernesto is extremely excited at the prospect, he... (full context)
Medicine, Politics, and Helping Others Theme Icon
...it comes time to depart Lima, the patients at Dr. Pesce’s hospital give Ernesto and Alberto some money they’ve cobbled together and an “effusive” farewell letter. They are grateful that the... (full context)
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Traveling away from Lima, Alberto initiates a long night of drinking pisco (a Peruvian liquor) which the men can’t actually... (full context)
38. Ucayali Abajo (Down the Ucayali)
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Ernesto and Alberto sail to the San Pablo Leper Colony on a small passenger boat, La Cenepa. The... (full context)
39. Querido Papi (Dear Papi)
Medicine, Politics, and Helping Others Theme Icon
...particular, he recounts how the leprosy patients in the Lima hospital, grateful that he and Alberto played sports with them and “never wore overalls or gloves” out of fear of the... (full context)
40. La Colonia de San Pablo (The San Pablo Leper Colony)
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A day after arriving in San Pablo, Ernesto and Alberto finally visit the leper colony they’ve traveled so far to see. The colony is comprised... (full context)
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Dr. Bresciani shows Ernesto and Alberto around the colony. He tells them about his own research, which examines patients’ nervous systems,... (full context)
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When they aren’t touring the medical facilities, Ernesto and Alberto go fishing and play football and chess. Besides Dr. Bresciani, they befriend the rest of... (full context)
41. El Día de San Guevara (Saint Guevara’s Day)
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The next day, accompanied by the doctors, Ernesto and Alberto visit a local Indian tribe, the Yaguas. He notes that their way of life combines... (full context)
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Medicine, Politics, and Helping Others Theme Icon
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After enjoying the hospitality of the colony for a few more days, Ernesto and Alberto prepare to depart. They build a raft on which they plan to sail further down... (full context)
42. La Kontikita Se Revela (Debut for the Little Kontiki)
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Ernesto and Alberto float down the river towards the Brazilian border, a difficult journey because the mosquitos are... (full context)
43. Querida Vieja (Dear Mama)
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...noting wryly that he made a “quintessentially Pan-American speech” and praising what he sees as Alberto’s better public speaking abilities. (full context)
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Then Ernesto describes the rest of the trip on the raft. Ernesto and Alberto spend a few days floating down the river and catching fish, but eventually they fall... (full context)
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After a few days in Leticia, Ernesto and Alberto fly to Bogotá. There, they sleep on chairs in the hospital rather than paying for... (full context)
44. Hacia Caracas (Towards Caracas)
Suppression and Reclamation of Indigenous Culture Theme Icon
After dealing with various bureaucratic processes and enduring many unnecessary police searches, Ernesto and Alberto cross into Venezuela, which is more prosperous than Columbia. They hitch a ride in a... (full context)
45. Este Extraño Siglo Veinte (This Strange Twentieth Century)
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Ernesto acquires a French inhaler to help with his asthma but loses Alberto, with whom he parts ways in Caracas. Without his traveling companion, he feels lonely and... (full context)