Today is different… the sometimes oppressive overhanging green canopy has broken away and the trees have been replaced with scrubby conifers struggling for purchase in soft sandy soil. The smell is different as well and the unmistakable fragrance of pine sap fills the air. Sand… oh joy the bikers nemesis… its hard packed but goes on for mile after mile and in the end I am glad when the gravel makes a return shortly to be followed by Spanish tarmac, not as smooth as the French type but very welcome all the same. Riding in sand is counter intuitive, going slower does not help and the Africa Twin is a heavy bike to rock back and forwards as she digs a trench with the rear tyre. The DCT gearbox is a revelation and Honda have certainly got that right and as Jeremy Clarkson would say “more power required” and the sand is a distant memory.