Baja Bound, page 2:

Hidden away off the Plaza Mijares in an 18th century adobe hacienda, traditional Mexican dishes and seafood are served at Damiana, one of the finest restaurants in Baja. A few blocks away, behind the Telemex office, the tiny cafe, Le Bistrot, is a warm place to spend a winter evening by the fire, savoring fish dishes prepared in the Provençal manner.

Across from the police station on Boulevard Mijares, I did some Christmas shopping at a string of open-air stands, bartering a little for a black carved ironwood hawk, some silver earrings, a wildly colorful serape and shawls woven locally.

On the way out of town, I stopped at Los Cabos Campo de Golf, to check out the original Cabo golf course, for years, the only game on the Cape. It's a nicely-maintained nine-hole layout of medium challenge, liberally bordered by homes and condos, and anchored by the Howard Johnson Plaza Suites resort.

South down the coast nineteen miles, the town of Cabo San Lucas curves around a marina and the magnificent Bahia de Cabo San Lucas. This is where the action is, the main hub of hotels, shops, restaurants and watersports. Laid out along the waterfront is a large outdoor shopping area, the Artisan's Market, where souvenirs and artwork are somewhat less costly than in the town and hotel shops.

Hundreds of sportfishing cruisers, pleasure yachts and small, fishing boats called "pangas" are moored in the marina. After dark, sailboat masts are ablaze with multi-colored lights and the cruise ships in the bay are lit up like seagoing birthday cakes.

Art, jewelry, hand-crafted furnishings and resort wear from mainland Mexico and the U.S. are featured in shops throughout Los Cabos. Taking the time to find Baja-made goods is worth it. In Cabo San Lucas at Cuca's Blanket Factory, you can watch rugs, blankets and wall hangings being woven on harness looms. Cuca's will create a custom blanket for you for about $40.

Across from Cabo Wabo Bar and Grill, the El Rancho shop showcases the best of Baja in art, pottery, baskets and leather goods, plus the famous "palo de china" wood benches, and "palo de arco" woven chairs, handmade by local craftspeople from indigenous raw materials found in the desert and the mountains.

A few minutes from town, on the road to the artist's town of Todos Santos, the Glass Factory is where glass blowers produce deep cobalt, amber and sea green glasses, dishes, and gift items unique to Baja. You can watch the workers create their magic in the roaring furnace room, and try it yourself. The Glass Factory will pack and send your purchases home.

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©Karen Misuraca; all rights reserved.