© David Mamàn

On the road to Eeyou Istchee Baie-James

Julien Roussin-Côté of the Go-Van blog and photographer David Mamàn explored the Eeyou Istchee Baie-James region and some of its most remote areas in a recreational vehicle, with all the autonomy they wanted.

To the wild and unknown !

Travelling the James Bay highway, then a portion of the Route du Nord, they discovered a vast and wild territory. Throughout their six-day journey, unsuspected natural and human riches were revealed to them. This is how they went to meet unexplored lands, the Cree culture and water builders who designed impressive hydroelectric structures. 

Julien and David ventured into the heart of the boreal forest along the 620 kilometres from Matagami to Radisson. On the only asphalt road that crosses the territory from south to north, they travelled off the beaten track. Through a territory where wild rivers, immense lakes and forests follow one another as far as the eye can see, they took advantage of the splendid viewpoints offered by the many belvederes which punctuate the road. Not to mention those they discovered from the impressive bridge over the Eastmain River, which won an architecture award for its designers. And what about the panoramas that awaited them on their canoe expeditions or their hikes in the forest, including the one leading to the summit of Mount Laurier! 

Lac Paradis © David Mamàn
© David Mamàn

The Aboriginal guides who accompanied them introduced them to plants, mushroom picking and ancestral fishing techniques. Sitting around a campfire at the end of the day, our two adventurers were more than happy to cook what they had gathered in their explorations. Let's bet that their swim in the jade-green waters of Lac Paradise and their encounter with the local wildlife, including a wolf, were also among the highlights of their trip... 

The two travellers also familiarized themselves with the Cree community's ancestral way of life. They finally plunged into the heart of his cultural traditions by visiting the Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute in Oujé-Bougoumou and participating in the Mistassini Pow Wow. This colourful Aboriginal celebration is certainly one of the memories they will have of their trip north of the 49th parallel.

 

© David Mamàn

Visiting the Eeyou Istchee Baie-James region

The traveller eager for the outdoors, grandiose territories and authentic encounters will appreciate the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region. In addition to offering a unique experience, it offers several accommodation options for those who are not in a recreational vehicle. They range from outfitters to hotels, lodges and inns, camping sites and homestays in the various Cree communities.