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The peak of Bugarach has always been an asset to the people who live at its base... but the urban myth connecting it to the Mayan calendar and the end of the earth has certainly given a boost to the local economy.
Or at least hopes for the local economy since apocalypse believers claim the mountain will protect the village on doomsday.
It's not just the stones from the mountain selling for 3 euros each, or the Bugarach alien wine for 5 euros a bottle or the water for 15. It's also the local property owners who have been putting their houses and land up for sell at asking prices double the previous sale prices.
However, Mayor Jean-Pierre Delord, who is against the profiteering, says the optimistic sellers are not finding buyers.
"Because of that publicity over the past two years with regard to the end of the world on the 21st, they thought people would be coming here to buy land to protect themselves from doomsday... so they have multiplied the sale prices of their homes at least by two... but nothing has been sold!"
What the end of the world myth has led to, the mayor says, is the theft of the city's sign... three have been stolen..."replacing them," says the mayor, "costs a lot of money!"
Still the village of less than two hundred people stands to make something off its fame.
Already journalists are flocking to the town and the guest houses and camp grounds are booked up.
With all the media attention few want to talk in specific terms about the money being made, but the rumor around town is that a guest house has rented its rooms for 15-hundred euros for the week and that campsites are going for as high as 350 euros. Still it seems like a bit of an exaggeration since some like Susan Harrison are letting people camp on their land free,
And the tiny village lost in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains is likely to see it all as the date for the end of the earth approaches.
The only local restaurant is putting up a tent to accommodate the expected crowds.... clearly some expect that.
There is money to be made from the end of the earth.... and are at least a little confident they'll be around to spend it .... even after doomsday.
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