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We drove south, covering a lot of ground - 600 kilometers - a scenic route through tropical landscapes. Even though population density increases as we move south, most towns we passed, like Xai-Xai (pronounced shy-shy), were small, centered around a main-street of shops, surrounded by small suburbs of thatched huts. After four hours, we arrived in Maputo, capital of Mozambique. Maptuo is a place like no other in Mozambique, one of Africa's most impressive cities. Builders poured all of the country's concrete here to create a city of high-rises on a hill overlooking the ocean. We strolled down Lenin street, one of the broad, tree lined streets named after Communist notables, a tribute to Mozambique's socialist past. No beggars, no hassles, no other tourists, a few stares, we feel comfortable even though we're conspicuous strangers. Occasionally we see signs of danger. Guards stand in front of every sizeable store, home, and street corner. Iron bars cover all windows and doorways. A barbed wire fence surrounds our campground which lies on the city's outskirts.
Some fantastic old villas survive from Portugese colonial times.
Downtown Maputo
Suburban life