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July 3rd, 2009

This sounds fun...

In honour of the first moon landing, there's going to be an evening of Clangers music at the Royal Festival Hall.
On the 40th Anniversary of the first moonwalk Southbank Centre and the Heritage Orchestra celebrate by bringing you an evening of the music and visuals of the Clangers alongside other lunar delights.
I found a particularly apt episode on YouTube:



40 years since I stayed up all night to watch those grainy black and white images.

Wow.

Green Turtles, Black Sands

It's a toss up whether Kalapana or Punalu'u is Big Island's most famous black sand beach. Certainly Punalu'u is the most striking, with its dark sands suddenly stopping at the edge of a bright green forest. It's also one of the best places to see honu, as the green turtles haul themselves up the beach to bask in the sun, after feeding for algae in the wild surf.

There's a sign in the middle of the beach, advising you to keep well away from the turtles. That's where you'll find them. The afternoon we stopped at Punalu'u there were two on the sand, still wet from the waves, glistening against the black sand and crumbled lava flows. I kept well back, and cranked my camera up to maximum zoom. Luckily I managed to avoid getting an illiterate family in shot, who had to be hauled back from the shy beasts.

I'm particularly pleased with this shot.

Green Turtles, Black Sands

Punalu'u, Hawaii
June 2009 

Roasting the beans

Getting up the mountain to Mountain Thunder can be a little tricky. Two roads spiral around each other as they climb up the steep mountain slopes.

1000, 2000, 3000 feet. You're up in the cloud forest when you arrive, tall trees disappearing into the mists.

It's a long climb, but it's worth it. Our hire car was struggling by the time it reached the top, but the farm's staff were there with cups of fresh brewed coffee for us to taste. It was good, possibly the best coffee I have ever drunk. Mountain Thunder's an organic farm, and there are plenty of animals under foot - all manure for the carefully tended coffee beans.

You'll see plenty of coffee bushes as you drive up the volcano, and there are plenty of cherries growing on the bushes. Most were still green, so a few weeks from harvest.

Kona Coffee - in the Raw

Unlike many of the other Kona farms, Mountain Thunder roasts on site.

Roasting the Beans

The finished product, 100% Kona coffee

Dark Roasted Blend

Mmmmm. Coffee.

Why yes, we did bring some back with us, all the way to London...