February 6 2008.

After six days of riding through the West African desert and Sahel, the Globebusters / Motorcycle Outreach Research Expedition has reached the town of Kayes in Mali.

Two days in the Sahara Desert, crossing Mauritania between Nouadhibou in the north and the Barrage De Diama in the south, saw BMW R120GS rider, Craig Carey-Clinch and his wife Barbara Alam, brave sand storms, long piste tracks and increasing temperatures.

Entering Senegal, the couple spent a day at the travellers haven of Zebrabar an auberge in the heart of the Barbary Coast National Park. This included researching accommodation and activities in the beautiful former colonial town of St Louis.

Then it was eastwards again, riding the Northern Senegal route to the road border with Mali, along mixed roads which are off the usual tourist trail. The town of Matarn and Bakel on the Senegal River were visited.

A final day's ride took both across into Mali at the Kidira/Diboli crossing and pausing to remember the late Simon Milward, who died in a 2005 accident on the road between the border to Kayes, Craig and Barbara later arrived in Kayes, a town which is reputed to be Africa's hottest in the summer.

Craig commented; "We've seen some terrific riding and visited incredibly interesting places. The piste between Rosso and Diama in Mauritania goes through a national park full of different kinds of exotic birds. St Louis is also well worth visiting as is Kayes, where we looked at the former French fortress near the town, a short ride on a piste which covered the bike in clouds of the distinctive red dust of Mali..

"The 500km stretch between Nouadhibou and Nouakchott saw us beset by a sand storm. It seems that the Harmattan winds are blowing early this year. The bike held out fine, though the left side was blasted as clean as new by the sand. The Touratech headlight protector really came into its own and saved the headlights from the kind of sand damage that we saw on other travellers cars when we stopped in Nouakchott"

The couple now head west again, crossing back into Senegal and on towards the Gambia and the Atlantic coast route south again.