RAMSES STATION, 6AM
bound for Cairo’s Wild West
Birqash lies to Cairo’s north west, where the city’s sprawling limbs meet the desert. Here, things turn a little wild. As I wander into the market, I feel a hundred eyes land on me.
Foreigners don’t come here, but they’re welcome.
Camels are brought to the market here from Egypt’s surrounds, sometimes as far away as Sudan and Somalia. Some don’t make the journey and the rest are sold.
How to get there:
A local train leaves Cairo’s bustling Ramses station at 6am. Take a seat by the door and keep it open. The town of Birqash is about an hour away through a trail of villages,markets and rubbish dumps all cupped in morning haze. You’ll have to ask when to get off. From there, head out of the station and over the river, thumbing down one of the many pick ups heading right. They’re all going to the same place, so hop on the back.
When to go:
Early. Most of the deals are done at 10am, meaning it’s an early start for all concerned. Fridays are busiest.