We walked on past a cornfield to the river. We met some people and they all said there were no soldiers around but we know they are lying. Che injected himself with adrenaline to keep himself going. It’s vital now that we get somewhere to find him medicine, he admits this himself. The radio reported an army statement on the action at the town, saying that one soldier was killed in the action. I didn’t know that and I don’t know if it’s true or just to scare the locals.
Just what we don’t need is to get lost. And we get lost far too often these days. We wasted a lot of time looking for paths, clearing paths and all the time climbing higher into the hills. There was bad news on the radio too – it seems that the mine owners and the miners have come to an ‘agreement’ which really means that the mine workers action has been defeated.
One of the horses went missing – hadn’t been tethered up properly last night – and we spent a lot of time looking for it. Finally it came ambling back and we were able to set off again. Higher still and reached a shack – I don’t know who would stay here from choice but we had to stay the night there because it was shelter. I stayed with Che but men were sent out to look for paths and none could be found. So we are stuck here at the top of a hill when we need to be in a town getting medicine. Listening to the radio does not make things better. They told of a clash on the Rio Grande. We couldn’t find the place on any map we carried and we wonder if it is Joaquin’s group. The radio reported two guerrillas dead – but you can’t believe the radio. We also heard of statements by the Frenchman Debray who spoke of the continental aims of the guerrilla struggle. I don’t know if this was a good or a bad thing to say. It’s so hard to get the locals to understand the struggle. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember why we are here. I look at Che. I read a chapter of Guerrilla Warfare which I am still carrying in my knapsack. Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s the same man but then I see his strength in adversity and I know that our cause is just. It’s just hard to see the bigger picture in our everyday struggle.
We got lost again. And it was foggy and rainy so we couldn’t even see where we were going. We had split into two groups and lost each other. We stumbled across a calf though and killed it straight away for food.
We were stuck in the same place today because Che’s asthma was bad again. Nothing to do but listen to the radio and that doesn’t help either health or temper. It reports a battle on the Iquira and says a guerrilla was killed. They said they took the corpse to Lagunillas. They were so excited about it that it may be true. At least it might give us a clue as to where Joaquin’s men are, but if we head for the place named by the radio we’d really just be running into trouble and with Che so ill I don’t think that’s a good idea.
The scouts came back saying they’d found some farms and an abandoned house so we headed there. It would be good to have a place to hide out for a while especially while this rain continues. It is terrible to be wet all the time. We got to the house but the owner came back and said that someone had seen us and informed the army we were there. We couldn’t move so we just kept a good watch all night. No one turned up though. Che got some sleep at least.
Another wet wet day. But we had to move on. We took two locals as guides. But they tried to lead us towards the soldiers so we changed course and headed back towards Florida. The radio talks about problems in the city. Barrientos is upsetting people. We can’t do much about it from here though.