Mayan apocalypse or Mayan hype?
The Mayan prophecy that the world will (might, may, could, perhaps) end on Dec. 21 already has left its mark on plenty of travelers and their upcoming travel plans.
The Skyscanner fare-finder site reports that many of its customers have taken a sudden interest in purchasing one-way tickets to places rumored to be safe havens from flames, fires, infernos, super black holes or tsunamis sweeping the globe on that fateful doomsday.
Current destinations of choice for these souls who would prefer not to die include several villages near a mountain in the French Pyrenees that supposedly houses an alien spaceship that will be the sole means of escape after the destruction.
Local authorities are blocking access to the mountain peak from Dec. 19 to 23, except for the 200 hardy village residents who don't believe a word of this hogwash.
A 15th-century Turkish village named Sirince (the word means "pleasant") is another preferred site, probably because it is located near absolutely nothing.
One-way ticket searches and purchases for flights arriving within a week of the 12/21 doomsday date to the south of France and Turkey have shot skyward, according to Skyscanner.
Mexico, too, barely has room at its inns, but for a different reason. There, the apocalypse prophecy has turned into an excuse for one gigantic hoopla and celebration of the Mayan culture. "Let the party begin" is the order of the day.
Some visitors are whipping out their yoga tights and mats to promote the date as the start of a new era of enlightenment.
Hotels near Chichen Itza have been sold out for months, as have incense and firewood for sacred fire ceremonies at various Mayan ruins up and down the Yucatan.
The three hotels in the Condo Hotels group in Playa del Carmen are really covering their bases. Their Doomsday promotion offers the night of Dec. 21 for free for guests booking a three-night stay. Of course, if the dire predictions do come true, Condo Hotels will compensate guests with a double-your-money-back refund. The fact that no one will be around to collect the refunds is a moot point.
A website in Russia posted suggestions for a special "just in case" kit, containing essentials such as matches, a knife to deal with zombies, chocolates, a notepad for jotting down memoirs, a liter of water and a small bottle of anise liqueur, a favorite drink of the Mayan people.
Meanwhile, there are two men in China busy building diesel-powered arcs that reportedly could survive the world-ending flood that's predicted in one scenario.
In Chile, a poll showed that about 25% of the population of 17.3 million intend to skip work on Dec. 21 under some pretext or another.
Leave it to Super Clubs' Hedonism II to turn up the heat on shedding inhibitions on 12/21. To kick off the beginning of the end of the world, the resort plans a Black and White Starlight party, where attendees will have one last chance to show off their sexiest outfits.
That will be followed by Rock Star Night, where guests can party like it's the last night of their lives — or not.
— Gay Nagle Myers