Monday, December 20, 2010
2012, December 21
The Pic de Bugarach, at 1230 metres, is the highest summit in the Corbieres region of the Midi. It is roughly 20 kms from our home, as the bird flies. We can see it by walking up the hill to the Puivert castle.
There is something very strange about Bugarach. In fact there are many things very strange about it. The most obvious is that it is upside down - the oldest geological layers are on the top, which should not happen.
Many people believe that there is a colossal cavern under the mountain, with a huge lake, and a civilisation, earthly or otherwise, fully equipped with flying machines. Mysterious lights are to be seen hovering around the mountain at night. There are tales of close encounters.
The tales really are many and varied, but Bugarach has been hitting the news lately, at least in the local press, because it is featuring largely in the growing apprehension about 2012. I am sure you know that, according to some interpretations, the Maya predicted that the world will end in December of that year. A slightly less apocalyptic version is that the world as we know it will end, and a new era will begin.
Well, it seems that you should come to Bugarach, where you will be safe. It is one of the few places in the world which will be exempt from the destruction involved. This whole area is already home to many alternative, hippy types, attracted by the various Rennes le Chateau, Templar, Visigoth and other histories and mysteries. We are knee-deep in these people at the Sunday morning market in Esperaza. Strangers there have tried to engage us in conversation about 2012.
Now groups of believers are to be seen on the mountain, robed or sometimes completely disrobed, holding ceremonies and muttering imprecations. There are walking paths up, down and around the mountain but walkers are having to take unexpected breaks until the chanting is done and the paths cleared. A local information centre reports that 70% of those calling in to their office were randonneurs or walkers - now 70% are of a mystical persuasion. M. le Maire has been quoted extensively in the press, expressing his concern about the effect all these people are having on his area. Even the local housing market is being affected as, believing that Bugarach will be safe from the worldwide disaster, believers buy up houses so that they can move into this haven well before the due date.