There are fears that the end of the world is nigh - on December 21st, 2012 to be precise. That is the date of the end of the 5,125-year 'Long Count' Mayan calendar when the cataclysmic finale will take place as a planet crashes into Earth. All well and good, but for the residents of the small village of Bugarach in the French Pyrenees it's proving to be something of a nightmare.
For the flat-topped Pic de Bugarach is, according to the doom-laden, the place which will survive the event. Armageddon might be approaching, but the 179 inhabitants of this small village will be okay. Apparently the mountain contains an 'alien garage' full of extraterrestrials waiting to abandon Earth who will take a few lucky survivors with them to escape the Apocalypse. So the village has been besieged all summer long with New Age folk pitching up to make sure they're okay. If you don't believe me, visit the official end of the world website.
Now these guys in Bugarach are not stupid and realize a good thing when they see one. So you can buy Bugarach stones from the mountain (1.50 euros), while a bottle of water from the local spring which has all sorts of curative powers will set you back 15 euros. You can rent a house (1,100 euros a night), or pitch your tent in a field (for 400 euros a night). All I can say is good luck to them.
If you're thinking of joining the rush for the place, think again. Security is tight and getting tighter and unless you are registered with the local mayor's office along with your vehicle number plates you won't get anywhere near the village and its magic mountain.
Meanwhile, friends of mine who live in the village, are getting ready for a nice family Christmas.
More on Bugarach
More about the Region
Assuming that all is well, the village is near some wonderful sites between the Mediterranean and Cathar country.