A different Illini baseball player will fill in readers throughout the week on the team's weeklong trip to Curacao and Aruba. After Sunday night's first game, the Illini rose bright and early Monday for a climb up Mt. Christoffel. Senior Tyler Engel breaks down the team's journey:
The game on Sunday night against the Curacao National Team was an eye-opening experience.
The style of play and the atmosphere surrounding the ballpark is something that I have never seen before. The players were ex-major leaguers who were extremely talented. Those games are ones that you remember forever.
We left bright and early Monday to drive to the base of Mt. Christoffel, a trip in which we had no idea what to expect when we were on our way. Coming up to the mountain in the vehicle, we saw this massive mountain touching the clouds and the buzz on the bus was that there is no way that is what we are hiking. What started as a mountain hike turned quickly into a mountain climb, which consisted of cactus everywhere and slippery rocks next to a couple hundred foot drop. It was such a reward when we traveled the 2 1 / 2 miles up as players and coaches and were able to enjoy the journey together. The view from the mountain was breathtaking looking over the country of Curacao.
Following the mountain climb, we headed to some of the bluest waters at Knip Beach and had a barbecue on the beach to relax. Overall, it was an adventurous day that brought the players and coaches closer.