Lee valley park, a park extending almost 26 miles along the route of the River Lee or Lea. A part of it lies in Broxbourne, a borough near where Kavitha lives. This is our destination today. We are in the midst of a heatwave as is the rest of the world. It’s the first time for decades that we’ve had a continuous spell of warm weather and today the temperature is set to touch the thirties.
Lakshmi is in a much brighter mood compared to last Saturday and entertains us as we weave our way through the country lanes to the park. Villages dot the short driving route breaking the landscape of farms and fields. From the car park we walk to the river. The lane forks either way to follow the river bank. We turn right. Colourful barges line the route. The opposite bank of the river forms the back garden of the houses with envy evoking views.
There is no shade visible along the path further ahead but we plough on. The midday heat is just bearable. Lakshmi initially refuses to walk but relents when she sees the ducks and the boats. At one point a couple of Swans cross the river with their cygnets towards us. They look like they are having a family day out as well. Tiny fish glide in the clear waters and along the way a couple of men sit patiently for the bigger ones to take bait. We move out of the way for passing cyclists. A stinging nettle brushes my leg as I walk past. The stinging intensifies and slowly abates. I make sure that Lakshmi doesn’t touch any plants. Cows can be seen grazing in the meadows. Some are already having their afternoon nap. The heat must be too much for them.
We walk for a while. The paved pathway turns to gravel. Lakshmi drags her feet and stirs up the dust. We stop off at a picnic area to rest for a while. A lone wooden bench and table in the shade of oak trees in serene settings was waiting for us. I fill up Lakshmi’s water pistol and we have fun.
The rest of the day follows the same theme, as we walk back along the riverbank and this time in the opposite direction. We stop off to have a leisurely lunch watching the boats go by. Some hired and others privately owned. Families having a fun day out steering their boat along the river stream. Couples enjoying a quiet moment together. Lakshmi walks around and entertains herself and watches a little boy playing with his dad. He tries to talk to Lakshmi. Soon they leave and it’s time for us to leave as well and make our way home.