Friday, February 3, 2012

Mayan Apocalypse Transition: Book a Galactic Cruise; or Take the Cosmic Bike Tour

"Cashing in on the 'end of the world' tourism"
Blane Bachelor, (January 30, 2012)

"For doomsday theorists, Dec. 21, 2012 could mean the end of civilization, according to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar. But for some tour operators and property owners, the end of the world also means a chance to cash in on the apocalypse hype.

"In the most prominent countries of the Mundo Maya - Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and parts of Honduras and El Salvador - the tourism industry is gearing up for a record year, with dozens of Maya-themed offerings designed to lure visitors.

"The Guatemalan city of Tapachula will feature an 8-foot digital count-down clock in its main park, Mexico's Riviera Maya are planning reenactments of a popular Mayan ball game and the Sacred Mayan Journey, in which hundreds of paddlers travel in canoes to the island of Cozumel to pay homage to the goddess Ixchel. In all countries, there will be special solstice and equinox ceremonies, Mayan-themed workshops and music festivals...."

Let's look at some of the ways folks can spend money this year:
  • Get married
    • "Mayan Marriage of Many"
      • Join 35 other couples on an "actual Mayan ruin in Belize"
      • Ceremony held December 12, 2012
        • Plenty of time to spend more money
    • All this for only $14,030 to $24,030
  • Bike tour
    • Ancient Mayan villages in Guatemala's Lake Atitlan
    • Experience climbs of up to 1,200 vertical feet
    • Single-track, rocky, narrow trails transport you "to your own cosmic realm"
    • Starts December 17, 2012
    • Only $1,790
  • Get groovy
    • "Mayan Galactic Alignment" cruise
      • "Celebrate the ascension of humanity into a higher vibration"
      • Spend five days aboard the Carnival Triumph
      • Visit sacred sites along the Yucatan Peninsula
      • Witness the end of the Mayan calendar
        • "The epic metaphysical event of our lifetime"
      • Enter "the 'World of the Fifth Sun' together"
    • Spend $999
      • Or more
  • Visit Belize
    • See each of the country's main archaeological sites, including
      • Altun Ha
      • Barton Creek Cave and Caracol
      • Spend $25 for a Maya 2012 Passport
        • Available through Dec. 21, 2012
      • Plus expenses
    • Camp overnight at the Maya site of Caracol
      • Never before available
      • Witness sunrise at
        • Solstices
        • Equinoxes
      • Limit 100 guests per event
      • Cost?
        • Good question
        • 'How much do you have?'

Honestly, Now

"...(Of honorable note: one hotel operator in the U.S. we talked to is also hoping to cash in on the Mayan events. The 'Live While You're Alive' package at the swanky Hotel Teatro, in downtown Denver, Colo. includes a night in a luxe suite stocked with Dom Perignon and caviar, private butler, a six-course tasting menu with wine for two, limousine service, a helicopter ride, and a $25,000 shopping spree - all for a whopping $35,000. The price also includes an 'if you make it' extra for 2013: a one-night stay in a deluxe room, along with a bottle of Dom.)"

The folks at Hotel Teatro aren't the only ones who are keeping one foot planted in reality. Maybe it's basic honesty, maybe it's sensible caution - and a desire for repeat business from folks who survive 2012. Or maybe it's something else. Whatever the reason, the Lemming's glad to hear about folks who aren't being entirely wacky.

Can't Make it in 2012? Try Again in Just 5109 Years!

"...Dec. 21, 2012 is significant for the Maya because it coincides with the end of a 5,125-year period in the Long Count calendar. The date marks the end of 13 b'aktun cycles of 393 years each - not the end of the world, many Maya scholars say...."

One reason that so many folks get excited about the end of the Mayan calendar getting to the end of a cycle, or lizard men controlling the world, or End Times prophecies, may be that such things are exciting. Or maybe the lizard men put something in the water that makes humans suggestible.

The Mayan calendar getting to the end of a 13th b'aktun cycle is particularly nifty, the Lemming suspects, because 13 x 393 is a really big number: 5,174. That's a whole lot of years. Particularly for Americans, whose culture seems to encourage thinking of 'long ago' as anything more than a few years back.

The last time that the Mayan calendar passed this particular point, give or take a century:
This time:
Five millennia from now - no, that hasn't happened yet. Never mind.

Looking further in the other direction, folks have been using kitchens for hundreds of thousands of years. At least.

Humanity has gone through lots of b'aktun cycles: and sets of 13 b'aktun cycles. Odds are pretty good that humanity will go through quite a few more. Some folks may get excited each time the calendar clicks over. And if they do, others will be ready to help the first set spend money.

"Apocalypse?" Let's Say "Transition" Instead

"...In order to avoid perpetuating misconceptions about impending destruction, some tour operators have been careful to avoid references to 'end of the world' or 'apocalypse' in their marketing.

"In fact, in Belize, the message has been repackaged as an event celebrating a 'transition' in the Maya Calendar and the Tourism Board has recently come out with its latest brand: 'Where Will You Be When The World Begins Anew Belize? Maya 2012.'

" 'Without being archeologists or historians, from what we see and what we know there's a pretty big misinterpretation of what this calendar [ending] means,' says Jonathan Brunger, operations manager for Adventure Life, which is offering a 12-day 'Celebrate the Maya' tour that includes visits to Maya sites in Honduras and Guatemala. 'That's not going to be a theme of our trip, but I'm sure it's going to be a conversation piece.'..."

From the Lemming's point of view, the end of this particular Mayan cycle is about as momentous an event as taking down the 2011 calendar and putting up the one for 2012. Except that the Maya thing doesn't happen quite so often.

Then there was the Y2K thing, which actually did have something to do with legacy software and early programming strategies. And that is - what else? - another topic.

Somewhat-related posts:

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