Natural pools and Roman ruins in Fuente Caputa (Mula, Murcia)
This small and relaxing oasis is hidden among the arid fields of Murcia.
The southeast of Spain —and, in this case, Region of Murcia— is not only made up of rainfed crops and pine forests, it also has, in addition to other things, unique and surprising places where the water emerges and which, in the summer months, they serve as relief for the most avid hikers of adventure. About 10 kilometers from Mula, in the hamlet of Yéchar and north of the Reservoir of La Cierva, we find the picturesque Humid Zone of Fuente Caputa, enclosed between the hill of Herrero and cejo Cortado, where there is also a small cave with rock paintings , which are included in the Levantine naturalist art.
It is believed that the toponym Caputa could have derived from the Latin words caput and aquae, meaning head of water. Around this small oasis were found two Roman sites directly linked to the use of water and, not much further away, is located the museum site of Los Villaricos, which is an important example of Roman settlement in rural areas. This Roman villa, located next to the reservoir of la Cierva road, was active between the 1st and 5th centuries AD. C. and had two different parts: residential area, with thermal zone and domestic spaces around the central courtyard; and work area, where oil or wine was made and stored. The other two archaeological sites, closer to Fuente Caputa, would correspond to another village and a small dam, which would store water for irrigation of the surrounding lands, and from which at least two ditches departed, one of which reached the town of Caputa.
From the nucleus of houses of Yéchar it is very easy to arrive, with our vehicle, to the humid zone in question. In addition, during this trip you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of cejo Cortado (699 masl), belonging to the Ricote mountain range (1122 masl). After parking next to the emergence of water, we have just to walk along the course of this, along a path that is to the right of the stream and, in about fifteen minutes, we will have reached the most representative pool of Fuente Caputa: a natural pool located next to the Aqueduct of Perea, which leads the waters of the Transfer of the Taibilla. The flow of the mentioned source is fed by the rainwater collected in the fields of Ardal and in the surrounding mountain ranges, and it sprouts incessantly during all the year feeding the ravine of Perea (rambla de Perea) that, downstream, ends at the Mula river. In the bucolic spot there are numerous specimens of oleanders, reeds and tarays, among other plant species typical of riverside, as well as different species of toad, frog and pond turtle.
A good plan to spend the day can be a visit to Museum of Los Villaricos (free and prior phone reservation), Fuente Caputa and historic center of Mula, where we can also visit the Museum of Iberian Art El Cigarralejo, which is focused in the important Iberian site of the same name.