The vastness of the Sahara has given way to savannah and pastoral villages, demarcated by mud brick huts with the thatched roofs of Senegal. If it didn't feel like it before, now we really feel like we have arrived in Africa. The sun has barely crested the horizon and already the heat is becoming oppressive. We are whisked along steadily by our 2 KTM 690's while the villages we pass come to life gently but with a briskness that prefaces the inferno that will surely come. Off to one side we spot a hive activity as men, women, children, cows and donkeys congregate around a communal well. We pull over to top up our water bladders and wet our vests, all the while encountering the Africa we came to discover. The women and children pull up leaky buckets of water that are decanted into tubs before being escorted atop someone's head to a small vegetable patch close by. The women are hard at work, yet elegant and regal in vibrantly coloured dresses.