Here are the first five things we do when arriving at a new port:
1. Give Nine of Cups some attention. Assuming we've already cleared into the country, Nine of Cups gets attention first thing. If fresh water is available, she gets a bath and all tidied up from her passage.
2. Go for a walk. As soon as practicable, we go for a walk to get our land legs again. If it has been a long and/or rough passage, we usually stagger around like a couple of drunks for the first little while until the land stops rolling under our feet. Taking a walk after several days at sea is sheer pleasure and we're always anxious to get the lay of the land in a new port.
3. Check out the neighborhood and meet the locals. If there are other cruising boats around, we introduce ourselves and get some local information. We especially like to meet local folks who are usually more than happy to point us towards whatever amenities are in the area and answer questions.
4. Find the local amenities. We check out the availability of showers, locate a nearby supermarket (or local market if it's a small port), laundromat, ATM and chandlery. Each place we visit is a whole new world to explore. Sometimes everything is close by; sometimes there are no services available at all.
5. Find the Tourist Information Center. In large ports and first world countries, this is pretty easy. In little villages and towns in more remote areas, we rely on the locals to let us know what there is to see and do. We love picking up maps and brochures which we can study and then decide where and what we'll do.
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