It is 6:40 AM in the morning and we were supposed to be in Luxor. However, we are still about an hour away. this is not atypical of trains in developing countries, but is rather a way of life when traveling. the Sleeping Train is no exception – we departed late and we arrive late – it is a simple calculation, however, many people around us cannot comprehend this. Nevertheless, we are served breakfast – a good ensemble of hot coffee, bread, marmlade, butter, a bowl of fruits and yogurt. It is refreshing, and in no time we prepare to disembark at the Luxor railway station.
We did not get much of a chance to admire the deserts surrounding us, primarily because it was dark the whole night. When the sun did come out around 6AM, we were much closer to civilization and off and on, a few villages would pop up next to the rail tracks. Closer to Luxor, the landscape changes to a intermittent green patches. Growing sugarcane seems to be a favorite agricultural activity.
Our random outings in Cairo have prepared us well for interacting with the locals. A teenage boy approaches us and offers help to carry our luggage to a waiting cab, but we politely decline. this does not seem to deter the other folks and we have to politely decline them all. Once outside the station, we hail a cab for LE25 to take us to the Oberoi Philae – we are eagerly awaiting the start of the cruise from Luxor to Aswan.