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Piggies in Puerto Rico

Travel & news discussion about Puerto Rico

Piggies in Puerto Rico

Postby KarenS » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:51 am

IT’S a big mess,” Alfredo Ayala said, shaking his head and raising his eyebrows as if to ask: Are you sure you want to do this?

Let’s see. Do I want to travel deep into the central mountains of Puerto Rico to toss back Medalla Light beers with hundreds of locals in an all-day street party with live music, dancing and rotisserie pig?

“Where should we meet?” I asked.

And that’s how it goes in Puerto Rico — one minute you are sharing a civilized glass of red wine on the front porch of Delirio, Mr. Ayala’s restaurant here, and the next, you’re mapping out a plan to party in the hills with the pigs. Specifically, I was after Guavate, a little barrio about 45 minutes south of here that’s home to more than a dozen lechoneras — restaurants that serve the traditional Christmas lechón asado, or roasted pig, year-round.

Though there are pig roasts all over Puerto Rico, Guavate is the hub. What started as a handful of lechoneras has swelled to about 15 in the last two decades. Every Sunday afternoon, hundreds of locals descend on Guavate, slowly snaking their cars up the mountain along Route 184. The lechoneras really start to appear where the road hits the Carite Forest, and that’s where the party happens.

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