Now that I'm back in Oregon, I often compare my life here to that 5 months spent in North Centro. Some things I miss; others I don't.
Sun, surf and sand - a magic combination! From when I was a small child, we used to visit the beach regularly. I lived at the beach at Hervey Bay in my teens and again before I came over to the States. The beach is a part of me, and I really appreciated having it so handy when we were there this last time.
To walk on alone or with friends, take the dog for a run, look for shells, weird sea creatures or other odd things, people watch, have a meal, be a place to hold events such as air shows and fireworks, even sunbake or go for a swim if one chose to.
The beach is a place to relax, forget about the problems of the moment and get away from it all.
How about having no rain for 5 months! And being able to walk around in shorts and short sleeves nearly all the time! The weather I grew up with in Australia was much like this, and I do poorly in the rainy coldness of Oregon.
The weather alone is a good reason to go south for 5 months a year!
Mazatlán is a dirty city. The diesel fumes from the buses and the pollution from the power plant leave an oily grime over everything. Furniture and other household effects needed to be wiped over weekly. Regular sweeping and mopping was a must. I needed to wear some sort of footwear in the house otherwise my feet would get black! Steve's feet would get black even though he wore sandals! This dirt was hard to get out of clothing and bedclothes, even when washed in hot water.
Out in the street there was even more filth, to the extent that the municipal government employed a street sweeper. Every day before we went for a drive, Steve would have to brush the dust off the car or at a minimum clean the front windshield.
You can't drink the water because the bacteria would make you ill. Even Mexicans buy purified or bottled water for drinking and food preparation. We would buy a garrafón (20-liter jug of water) from the purification plant up the road for about 8 pesos, and it would last us about 3 days. I would use this water to rinse my mouth after cleaning my teeth.
There are also minerals in the water. You could see this as light specks on glasses or the coffee pot after they had dried in the drainer. My hair never felt really clean after washing it, and was very hard to manage.
If you ever run the water from the tap at the front of the house before the filter, it will be dirty grey in color. You really need a filter down there, and you must remember to change it regularly, at least once a month. Some people have installed water purification systems so that drinkable water is available just by turning on the faucet.