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Quito 2: Metro Vibes & Spiky Fruit

My second day in Quito kicked off with a burst of tropical flavors thanks to Oscar, a local guide specializing in market tours. He was recommended by Tefa, my guide from the previous day, and he certainly lived up to her praise! Our meeting point was Mercado Santa Clara, a bustling hub of sights, smells, and of course, delicious food. Oscar introduced me to a world of unique Ecuadorian fruits, including the exotic maracuja (passionfruit) and the spiky-looking guanabana (soursop). We explored the expansive food court, where the aromas of sizzling local dishes were impossible to resist. I took Oscar's advice and indulged in two Ecuadorian classics: a refreshing ceviche and the satisfyingly savory chicharron. Locals filled the food court, adding to the authentic atmosphere, and I appreciated the focus on cleanliness and hygiene.

Before our next adventure, Oscar led me to a nearby artisanal market filled with treasures. It was the perfect place to pick up souvenirs along with some delectable local dark chocolate. With my treasures in hand, we made our way to Parque El Ejido and hopped on Quito's newly built metro line for a quick and smooth ride. My attention was drawn to the lack of intrusive advertisements within the metro, a stark and pleasant contrast to other major cities I've visited.

Our next stop was Runa Tulpa Andina, where I sampled a traditional Ecuadorian liquor that packed a flavorful punch! We ended the tour with a much-needed caffeine boost – a cup of rich, aromatic Ecuadorian coffee.

Back at Viajero Hostel, I discovered a bonus surprise – their very own microbrewery called 'Amerik'. That evening, I joined fellow travelers to sample some of their craft beers. We shared stories, ordered a tasty dinner straight from the hostel's kitchen, and enjoyed a convivial end to my day before an early bedtime. Tomorrow, Cotopaxi National Park calls!

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