The Unvailing of 'Clue Number 4' - the greatest of them all!!!

Whakatane Travel Blog

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the opening of the envelope....

It was the 8th September on the morning we left Gisbourne, the penultimate date.  One day to go before my birthday and surely one day away from the final destination.

I had it in my head that we were heading towards Tauranga - the only big town I could think of along the Bay of Plenty, the coast we were heading towards.  But then Alex confused me 'It wont be long before we reach the next destination, but you cant have your next clue until tonight'.......WHAT??

Though once again, she couldnt help herself.  I knew something major was up, as she couldnt stop shuffling in her seat and had this menacing little grin on her face the whole way from Gisbourne.

haha...the look of denial
  She could wait no longer, explaining that if she drove any further that I would guess the destination, and this (apparently) was to be the greatest suprise of them and she simpy couldnt miss my reaction.  So somewhere on a minor road outside of some unknown small NZ town she pulled over and handed me the envelope.  This time there was no text, it was a picture clue, though I was instantly confussed.  The picture in the envelope was of the rugged and mighty marine volcano, White Island.  I recognised it instantly. It was an awesome picture, taken from an aerial view, with smoke bellowing from the main crater like an angry dragon.   I still didnt understand.  We couldnt possibly be going there- she must mean Whakatane - the closest town - there was absolutely no way our funds would stretch to a trip like that.
The realisation of something magical :)
  But Alex just couldnt stop laughing.  I have never experienced such denial - my brain couldnt comprehend it.  My face sat paralysed and staring.  I had thought about it so many times.  I had researched the possibily of trekking Tongariro, but NEVER had I seriously considered that I would have the opportunity to do the sole marine, and most active volcano in NZ.  But Alex was still grinning.

HOLY SHIT this wasnt a joke!!!! She began to explain - the whole entire trip had be a decoy - an excuse to drive around confusing me.  She had been planning it for months and had managed to rustle up the funds for my ticket and accomdation from my parents and siblings as a birthday present.  We were to be at Whakatane Wharf at 8am the following morning to catch a private boat to the Island ..... OMG!

Luckily, Alex caught the expression on my face - it was completely surreal - I honestly couldnt believe how amazing my friend was for doing this, for going to all this trouble..... but I guess whats what travel buddies are for! BIG TIME happines! :) I was going to White Island!!!!!!!

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the opening of the envelope....
the opening of the envelope....
haha...the look of denial
haha...the look of denial
The realisation of something magic…
The realisation of something magi…
pure joy!
pure joy!
Whakatane Wharf
Whakatane Wharf
Whakatane
photo by: droonsta