Bugarach is the highest peak in the Corbiere hills, 40km from our holiday cottage and B&B in Languedoc. There has been unprecedented interest in this tiny mountain village due to the impending date of 21 December 2012, regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count Calender, now associated with the Maya civilisation (250 to 900 AD, source Wikipedia). A New Age interpretation of this date suggests Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, others suggest 21 December 2012 marks the end of the world.
Made of limestone with galleries of caves beneath it, the peak is a geological oddity as its top layers are millions of years older than its bottom ones, making it an “upside down” mountain. In the 60s and 70s Bugarach was a popular hippie hangout followed by New Age followers who believed the mountain had mystical powers, helping to spread the belief that the village would provide a safe haven in the 2012 apocalypse. Cult followers believe aliens reside inside the mountain and will save people who decide to leave the planet with them [on 21 December]. Maya scholars refute these interpretations saying they are misrepresenting Maya history and culture.
The number of visitors descending on the tiny village of Bugarach has caused the Mayor to call for access to the mountain to be banned during December. I am afraid our B&B in the south of France has added to the Mayor’s angst; guests from Moscow, Canada, Portugal and Holland, have all visited and reported experiencing, “the positive energy which emanates from the mountain”. Mystery indeed.