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Treading an uncertain path through Ukraine

The latest leg of Day Lewis CEO Kirit Patel's Eurasian road trip to India sees him – and his travel companions – regroup in Kiev before heading to Russia

Pharmacists Kirit Patel, Peter Cattee, Manvir Patel and Hiten Patel are heading overland from the UK to India by car and have reached the Ukrainian border:


Due to visa difficulties, we weren't able to take the "safer route" via Turkey that we'd first identified. As such we had no choice but to enter Ukraine, despite the ongoing violence and political unrest. Feeling anxious, we approached the Ukrainian border on a foggy morning, which added to our apprehension.


We had to buy two weeks' insurance at the border, as no one in the UK would insure us for a drive through such dangerous territory. Peter spent a long time helping to complete the paperwork. En route to Kiev, we saw an old Russian tank, which was a stark reminder of the unrest here.


As we entered Kiev, we were stopped at the first army checkpoint, where I managed to take a sneaky photo of Peter as he attempted to convince the officer about our reasons for driving through Ukraine.


Driving through and seeing the damage done to this city with my own eyes, as opposed to seeing it on the news, made me realise how much the people of this city have been impacted. Despite the chaos seen here (left), we managed to visit a pharmacy (above right) in the area.


We had to buy two weeks' insurance at the Ukrainian border, as no one in the UK would insure us for a drive through such dangerous territory


Leaving aside the conflict, I can see that Ukraine has a lot to offer tourists. We were lucky enough to see the famous 13-domed Holy Sophia Cathedral, (pictured right), which is a Unesco World Heritage site.  It's one of the oldest cathedrals in Europe – construction started in the 11th century – and it took two decades to build. Looking at its architecture, I can see why.


Another landmark we stopped to see was the Khmelnytsky Monument, which is the original symbol of Kiev. This was built in honour of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, a 17th century statesman who is regarded as a national hero and a father of the nation.


We now have a 550km journey to the Russian border. I am hoping the worse part of the journey is over, but wish us luck all the same!


Pharmacists on tour: part one

Pharmacists on tour: part two

Pharmacists on tour: part three

Pharmacists on tour: part five

Pharmacists on tour: part six

Pharmacists on tour: part seven

Pharmacists on tour: part eight

Pharmacists on tour: part nine

Pharmacists on tour: part 10

Pharmacists on tour: part 11

Pharmacists on tour: part 12

Pharmacists on tour: part 13

Pharmacists on tour: part 14

Pharmacists on tour: part 15


Kirit Patel is chief executive of Day Lewis. Kirit; Peter Cattee, CEO at PCT Healthcare; Manvir Patel, managing director of Manichem; and Hiten Patel, managing director of PharmaPlus, will be raising money for charity Pharmacist Support. To make donations and for more information, please click here. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to hear more about their journey

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