penicillin and carborundum



january, 1952

en route to barilloche

dear mama,

just as you have not heard from me, i’ve had no news from you and i’m worried. it would defeat the purpose of these few lines to tell you all that has happened to us; i’ll just say that two days after leaving bahia blanca, i fell ill with a temperature of 40 degrees which kept me in bed for a day. the following morning i managed to get up only to end up in the choele choel regional hospital where i was given a dose of a little known drug, penicillin, and recovered four days later…

we reached san martin de los andes, using our usual resourcefulness to solve the thousand problems that plagued us along the way. san martin de los andes has a beautiful lake and is wonderfully set amid virgin forest. you must see it, i’m sure you’ll find it worthwhile. our faces are beginning to resemble the texture of carborundum. any house that we come across that has a garden, we seek food, lodging and whatever else is on offer. we ended up at the von putnamer’s ranch, they’re friends of jorge’s, particularly one who’s a peronist, always drunk and the best of the three. i was able to diagnose a tumor in the occipital zone that was probably of hydatic origin. we’ll have to wait and see what happens. we will leave for bariloche in two or three days and intend to travel at a leisurely pace. send me a letter poste restante if it can arrive by february 10 ro 12. well, mama, the next page i’m writing is for chichina. send lots of love to everyone and make sure you tell me whether or not papi is in the south. a loving hug from your son.


a letter from the motorcycle diaries

copyright aleida march


~ by mentalsyrup on January 16, 2009.

One Response to “penicillin and carborundum”

  1. Hi sushmit , thanx for commenting on my blog and I must say you are a fabulous photographer..can I ask you which camera do you use ..and can you please suggest an affordable digital camera on which I can take pictures like the ones you have taken …

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