In 1999 I crossed for the first time in my life the border between Kyrgyzstan and China and entered Xinjiang. And I loved it from the first moment.
I walked with camels in the desert of the Taklamakan. I saw sand all around me and never saw so much stars above.
I hiked in the mountains and followed the river Yarkant on our way to basecamp K2. I crossed rivers and tried to reach the other side dry and healthy.
I strolled through the streets of the Old Town in Kashgar, ate shis-kebab on the nightmarket, talked with the people on the markets and bought all sorts of little things.
I went to the Muztagh Ata area, climbed to the Shipton's Arch and Basecamp Muztagh Ata, and relaxed at the Karakol Lake.
I visited Xinjiang three times and this year I will complete it for the 4th time.
Every time I was in Xinjiang, I met Keyoum. First as a business-partner, but very soon as a friend, a very good friend. In 2007 I also met his pretty wife Pashja, his suns and family.
For Keyoum I made this book, as a tribute to Xinjiang and the Uyghur people, but also to thank him for his loyallty, his perfect service and most of all his warm friendship.
My memories of Xinjiang will always be in my heart . . . . . .
THE ART OF ICELAND Published February 18, 2014