Monday, 15 October 2012

Jo Carroll's Hidden Tiger

“You’ll be surprised what you can do with a rhino behind you.”


Jo Carroll

This was one of my favourite quotes from Jo Carroll’s latest book, Hidden Tiger Raging Mountain. I suspect I would curl up in a ball and cry, but not Jo and so I had to invite her along to my blog and ask her a question or two:



Speaking as a wimpy, scaredy-cat, non-traveller can you explain to me why you go travelling, on your own, to such far-flung places?
That's a hard one. All I can say is that I love it - love that stomach-lurching dislocation of stepping into a new country, the not-knowing, the effort of trying to cast off all my western assumptions, begin from a place of knowing nothing and then trying to understand. I love the extraordinary efforts total strangers can make to help me feel at home. I love the smells of hot cities. I love the orchestra of the jungle. (I used to think I loved tigers!) 

Buddhists in Lumbini, Nepal
What is it about Nepal? It sounds as if it’s touched your heart like no other place.
I do, indeed, love Nepal. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I never quite get over how huge the mountains are! Even though we know the Himalayas are magnificent, it's still humbling to totter round their foothills. But it's more than that - I love the people, their humour, their generosity and their determination to grow their rice or open their businesses in spite of the weather or the terrain or the lack of electricity and governmental chaos.

Which was the one moment, standing out from all of those truly terrifying situations, when you really didn’t think you’d get home alive?

Coming down the mountain, in the dark, after the cyclone. Never again! (Never again to cyclones, that is - not never again to travelling!)
Jo on a wobbly bridge, foothills of the Himalayas


Do you have any future travelling plans?
I wanted to go to Madagascar in January because I've never been. I even bought the Lonely Planet only to find that it's cyclone season. Since I have yet to rediscover a sense of humour where cyclones are concerned, I decided to look elsewhere. So now it’s Thailand and Laos after Christmas but I'm not sure how easy independent travel is there. I shall have find that out when I arrive. 

Thanks, Jo, I think you're amazing, an example to all of us *polite cough* older ladies. I know that everyone reading this post wishes you an enjoyable and SAFE time in Thailand and we're looking forward to hearing about it. 


If you want to read all about Jo’s amazing trip to Nepal then click on the book cover to buy a copy of Hidden Tiger Raging Mountain:



And do visit her at her blog at Gap Years The Book.

31 comments:

  1. Thank you for inviting me, Ros. It's such fun working with you! (And I promise - no more tigers!)

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    1. You're very welcome. I've really enjoyed reading your book and preparing the questions.

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  2. What a fascinating interview! Jo sounds such an interesting person - I'm definitely going to check her book out. How brave to go traveling all by herself and if I had a rhino behind me, I'd run like hell! Thank you Rosalind.

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    1. Brave or foolish, Susan - I think Ros would say foolish! Thanks for your comment - I hope you enjoy the book.

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    2. I didn't actually say 'foolish' did I? I think it's more foolhardy ;-)

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    3. No, Ros - you didn't say 'foolish', and maybe I shouldn't put words in your mouth. Though sometimes I wonder if that's not what you think! I know my daughters do!

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  3. I thought I commented but it must have been on twitter. Jo you had my heart in my mouth when I read your last book,I have now started this one and I'm on tenterhooks waiting for this bloomin tiger. Lovely interview Ros.

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    1. There's other terrifying bit as well as the tiger, Anne. Wait til you get to the cyclone!

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  4. I'd love to travel, but I have a feeling I'd be on the first flight home if faced with cyclones and mountains in the dark! Interesting interview :-)

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    1. You and me both, Annalisa, assuming I'd actually had the courage to get on the plane in the first place.

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  5. That is indeed a fantastic quote! I'm not nearly that brave - that wobbly bridge gave me the heeby-jeebies!! I would love to do more traveling one of these days though!

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    1. 'Brave' (see a comment above) - I'll confess to some wobbly moments, but setting off is exciting, and the brave bits seem to happen by accident!

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  6. Amazing adventurer. I think in this case, I'll be an armchair traveler and read her book. Thanks for introducing us to her.

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    1. Armchair travelling is fine - enjoy!

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  7. Thank you, Ros, for this great opportunity to meet your loyal followers. And for all of you who took the trouble to comment.

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  8. Hi Ros .. what a great lady Jo is .. then she posts on Mop Fairs - I hadn't heard of them ... and she travels - I'm definitely not into that sort of travelling - I admire her courage ...

    Cheers for now - Hilary

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  9. Rosalind, thanks for a great post and Jo, I think I am a kindred spirit with you although my preferred land is Africa. I have, luckily, never been confronted with a tiger or had a rhino behind me, but I have had a few close encounters with rather large snakes and an anxious hippo mum too. I shall need to read your book now although I fear it will give me the wander lust again just as I'd managed to squash it for a while.....

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    1. Nothing wrong with wanderlust, Val - would love to hear about your African travels. Have you written about them?

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  10. Yes, Jo, it was my first, and still my favourite book. I self published it through Lulu.com and it's still there and also on Amazon. It's called African Ways. It's about my first few years in South Africa when I was living on a remote farm with no electricity, quite often no water and where we still used wind-up phones on a party line :) I'm intending to revise it as a new edition soon as I'd like to give it a new lease of life.

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    1. This sounds fascinating, Val, but equally scary. However if I get a copy of your book I can enjoy the thrill of adventure without risking my own skin! Thanks for the comments.

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  11. PS, oh dear, sorry about the stringy, non parallel sentences there! As an English teacher, I should be ashamed. As a writer, I should have edited and proof-read...lol!

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    1. That's ok Val. etiquette for blog commenting allows for errors as we're all busily passing through.

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    2. Thanks Rosalind! It's really great to be in touch with other like minded souls. Maybe I could have you as a guest over at my blog? And Jo too. That would make it a livelier and more social place too. I'll contact you over the weekend to see if you would be willing.

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    3. PS It would be a bit like coming to Holland for a visit ....not as scary as tangling with tigers and snakes, but still a place with a difference!

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  12. Oh, yay! Many congrats to Jo! It's great to see her here on your blog, Rosemary, and to hear about her new book.

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    1. She's quite a lady, isn't she Talli!

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  13. I love just the title of this book! I'm a very wimpy traveler as well so this was really an inspiring to me. I'm looking forward to reading the book. Great to meet you, Jo and thanks for sharing, Rosalind!

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  14. I so admire your intrepid spirit! I like the idea of travel, but in reality I'm such a homebody it;s not even funny :) I like to read about far-flung places :)

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  16. Seems the increase of tigers in the region is having issues with tourists. Would have loved an image of one on the cover design.

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