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" On the steps of KRACHENINNIKOV "

On 19th of April 2008, I was contacted by Guillaume Julian who asked me in a mail if I would accept to show on my website, the first French expedition that realized the descent of the Kamtchatka river by canoë during the summer 2004.

He also told me about the film he recently realized about this expedition named " Kamtchatka, in bears land " I had to accept with great pleasure because it was about a marvellous adventure in the country of bears.

Here is how Guillaume's interview started.

He was in charge of this expedition. I thank him for answering a few questions and for giving me a rich written and photographic documentation.

Guillaume, can you introduce yourself ?

© Guillaume Julian

My name is Guillaume Julian, I am 28 years old, I was born in Strasbourg in Alsace.

I am a professionnal organizer with the speciality " Nature, Environment and Patrimony ".

In 2004, I began to lead the expedition, descent of the Kamtchatka river in canoë on 500 kms (Siberia). I founded the Cap' Adventure Nature in november 2005.

My hobbies are wildlife, photo, ornithology, canoë-kayak, trips and expeditions.

Since 2005, I have worked on a great project : travelling through 30 countries on more 40.000kms: AFRICA TANDEM" with the association Cap Nature, and with my wife Johanne. We'll start in october 2008.

You'll have the opportunity to  follow our adventure on our website :

Why this expedition to Kamtchatka ?


I made the descent of the Yukon river between canada and Alaska when I was twenty in 2000. During this expedition, I had the chance to see my first grizzli.

But unfortunately this meeting only lasted 8 seconds on 800 kms in canoë.

This moment was absolutely magic , for someone like me who had always dreamt of seeing them when I was young. But these eight seconds were too short and left me unsatisfied...And following this anecdote, I found the necessary energy to organize this expedition to Kamtchatka.

How did you organize this expedition and who is Krachéninnikov ?

We were four alsacian naturalists and we started this expedition from 29th july to september 2004, on the steps of the first Russian explorer Stephan Krachéninnikov (XVIIIe century) to Kamtchatka.

The peninsula of Kamtchatka, is located at the extreme eastern frontier of Russia, in the North of Japan and in the south west of Alaska.

In the 1740s, Stephan Krachéninnikov, a member of the expedition of the Science Academy and a coleague of Vitus Bering, travelled through the peninsula of Kamtchatka, using traditional means of transport. Thus he went down by canoë the most important river of the country : the Kamtchatka river

More than two and a half centuries later , we used the canoë like Krachéninnikov, lto immerse ourselves into wild nature which is still well-preserved from human influence.

We rowed on 500kms on the Kamtchatka river with this means of transport because of its many advantages : it's quiet, not expensive and above all it's adapted to the country to go and meet the inhabitants.


What do you want to tell us about this wonderful experience ?

This expedition consisted on , firts the observation of the native people's life which is lead according to seasons and in direct relation with the feedind's river.

During the spawning season (july-september) salmons swim back up the rivers in thousands feeding people and animals. It's the reason why we wished to meet these people during this period, because we had the opportunitu to stock up and share together some moments of life.

If this period is prosperous for them, it was magic for us.


During these few weeks, the nature offers the curious naturalists the opportunity to make wonderful observations. Many bears and eagles gather here in an incredible amount.

This is why we had taken equipment (cameras) necessary to bring back wonderful views of wild life from this country.


We wanted to make an initiatory trip taken time to look, listen, smell, taste, what Nicolas Hulot calls " The visible part of the garden of God ".

Le Kamtchatka is part of these rare lands where we can observe nature where people haven't changed the ecologic natural running yet. This why we have to protect it. But protection means knowledge first.

So the purpose of this project is to offer pictures and words to allow the public " to touch with eyes " this exceptional nature. And do you know that in russian language, " to touch " means " to be aware " ?.


© Guillaume Julian

If you want to know more about this expedition, read the second part of the Guillaume's report : " my passion of bears" on this site or go to his own website to buy the film of this expedition which explains this adventure to one of the latest paradise of this planet " Kamtchatka in bears land" .


Site de guillaume :

Creation date : 26/04/2008 : 20:21
Last update : 21/02/2012 : 19:43
Category : PORTRAITS - Interview of Guillaume JULIAN (April 2008)

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