Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
beach reading
starry skies to read under
reading in nature

On The Beaten Track with Louise Mangos

  • Submitted: 27th September 2022

On The Beaten Track with Louise Mangos

The Beaten Track is set in and today Louise Mangos talks about the locations in the novel and the unusual journey that led her to picking the kind of novel she wrote.

On The Beaten Track with Louise Mangos

 

BookTrail locations in The Beaten Track

In the 1980’s, the urge to leave behind the dark winters of discontent in the UK led me to give up my job, sell my car, withdraw all my savings, buy a sturdy pair of hiking boots, and travel the world. I set out with a cheap round-the-world ticket and limited space in my backpack. I made sure to carry plenty of notebooks and pens to record my experiences.

Ascent to Thorung La, (c) Louise Mangos

Ascent to Thorung La, (c) Louise Mangos

BookTrail locations in The Beaten Track

When my mother began clearing out some cupboard space a few years ago, she found letters and postcards I had sent home from my travels. She’d kept them in a box, wrapped in ribbons for each country I’d visited. As she handed them to me she said “you must do something with these.” Along with my journals which I’d kept over the years, the discovery and reconnection with these pieces of correspondence ignited a desire to consolidate some of my experiences.

The Beaten Track by Louise Mangos

But I didn’t want to write yet another travel memoir, so many of which only seem to reach a limited reading audience. Instead I used some of the settings I’d visited to write my next crime novel, a fictional suspense about a young woman who is followed on her travels by a man who becomes obsessed with her.

The Beaten Track is written from the point of view of both Sandrine and her stalker, Jake. Sandrine is unaware of the person keeping a close eye on her as she travels mostly alone. But woe betide anyone who gets too close to her. These two characters journey through a multiple of settings, some of which play an essential role in the fictional story.

San Francisco (c) Louise Mangos

San Francisco (c) Louise Mangos

BookTrail locations in The Beaten Track

Many of the experiences detailed in the novel were indeed my own, except for the more menacing scenes; to my knowledge I was never stalked. I remember watching hundreds of kite flyers on Fort Point one Sunday morning before crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and being gripped by a terrifying sensation of vertigo half way across San Francisco Bay.

Tarawera Crater near Rotorua in New Zealand (c) Louise Mangos

Tarawera Crater near Rotorua in New Zealand (c) Louise Mangos

The thrill of scree-running down the endless slope of the Tarawera Crater southeast of Rotorua, New Zealand, is still a highlight, even though I’ve snow skied on mountains on three continents. I experienced the camaraderie of a stranded group of trampers on a mountain pass while waiting for the spring snows to harden over the Harris Saddle on the Routeburn Track in New Zealand before being able to cross safely.

 Harris Saddle (c) Louise Mangos

Harris Saddle (c) Louise Mangos

BookTrail locations in The Beaten Track

Spending time with the Karen tribes in the far northwest of Thailand was another experience I shall never forget. The jungle trek lasted several days. A group of us stayed with families in the tribe, rode elephants through the jungle and built rafts to float down the rivers through Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park.

Annapurna II, Nepal (c) Louise Mangos

Annapurna II, Nepal (c) Louise Mangos

Perhaps the most satisfying achievement was crossing the Himalayan 5,500 m Thorung La pass on a three-week trek of the Annapurna circuit in Nepal between Besi Sahar and Pokhara. It’s the highest point I’ve ever been on the planet, and is the location of a significant scene in the novel The Beaten Track.

Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park (c) Louise Mangos

Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park (c) Louise Mangos

If you’re keen to visit the other locations in the novel, some of them sadly no longer exist. The original Bovy Bungalows on Koh Phangan, a Thai island in the South China Sea, has proven to be inaccessible for travelers in a modern world.

Shan Village, one of the Karen Tribe (c) Louise Mangos

Shan Village, one of the Karen Tribe (c) Louise Mangos

BookTrail locations in The Beaten Track

The entire mini-resort has now migrated to a more accessible beach on the other side of the island. The bungalows on Haad Khontee have been dismantled and any remaining construction has gradually returned to the jungle. It is now a beautiful slip of untouched beach that can barely be accessed along an overgrown jungle trail or by boat for snorkelers and beach bums wanting to enjoy some tranquility away from the busy Haad Rin beaches (known as Sunrise and Sunset Beaches).

BookTrail locations in The Beaten Track

So if you’re keen to take a journey around the world with Sandrine and Jake while enjoying a psychological suspense story, The Beaten Track is for you.

 

BookTrail Boarding Pass:The Beaten Track

Twitter: @LouiseMango  Web: //louisemangos.com

 

 

Back to Authorsonlocation

Featured Book

The Shadow Key

1783: There’s something mysterious about the village of Penhelyg. Will unlocking its truth bring light or darkness?

Read more