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 colored dresses.
We are like aliens from outer space to them. Shy at first, they ask where we are from and shake their heads and laugh disbelievingly when we explain we have ridden from Northern Ireland. France, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, and now Senegal. They don't believe us and there are fleeting moments where we don't believe it either.