Chasing rainbows on Bell Island


A trip to Bell Island, Newfoundland to visit its famous iron ore mine turned into a twisty, turny chase of a rainbow.

The rugged nature of Newfoundland holds so much charm along its coastline as it sits perched on the Atlantic Ocean. After taking a ferry from Portugal Cove to Bell Island, to visit the island’s iron ore mines, I never expected to be chasing something with so much colour.

What’s so hard about chasing a rainbow?

How many of you photographers and travellers have done this before- agonizing over shooting the perfect photo of a setting, landscape or person at a particular moment? Well, while I was screaming up a curvy, narrow hill after driving off the ferry that moment unfolded before me.

Damn the map to hell, follow the colours.

My little rental, a Hyundai Elantra I now call “Giv’er” because as it challenges all the steep hills Newfoundland has to offer, I keep saying “let’s giv’er” and get up that hill, no matter how much that engine howls, helped deliver me to the rainbow chase.

When the hill crested after a sharp, blind right turn, there was the rainbow in its multicoloured glory before me. With no shoulders to stop on, I kept following the road, looking for a place to start shooting. Then, as the road took me away from it I knew it was time, the chase is on. Damn the map to hell, follow the colours.

I twisted and turned, dipped and climbed at a steady pace, not racing about, trying to score the perfect rainbow photo, well, perfect for me anyway. Then, after losing the rainbow on another steep uphill climb it spanned the sky to my right perfectly. I could see the multicoloured arc from beginning to end.

I managed to find a secondary access road to the local dump, go figure.

I took Giv’er offroading on a rocky road, avoiding water filled divots in the road that threatened to swallow up my trusty Hyundai steed. By the time I was done shooting I looked around and realized, I have no clue where I am. After a short walk I saw a massive flock of seagulls perched on…garbage, I managed to find a secondary access road to the local dump, go figure.

As I slowly wound my way back, somewhat satisfied with the above photo in this post, I kept thinking, “you got it, now head to the mine.” But then, while trying to find out where in the world I was, I looked right to check for oncoming traffic and what do I see, the rainbow faintly spanning over a new great foreground.

They are not award-winning photos but they were an unexpected mini-adventure which always makes travel that much more special.



4 thoughts on “Chasing rainbows on Bell Island

  1. Ashleigh

    Is this anything like chasing the rainbows on Cobourg beach???? HA HA HA! You honestly did not expect ME to take this seriously did you? I mean really…

    PS. I am very glad you’re having a nice time.

  2. Hey, Vince, this is a terrific fun read. It’s like being there in the car with you.

    I’ve chased a rainbow for the same reason and not long ago. We saw two perfect ends (but a missing middle) from a back road around Bradford.

    Stopped the van and kids got out to have a look.

    I rummaged around to find our camera and took so long, missed the moment.

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