You can find this curiosity on the road between Belesta and Fougax-et-Barrineuf on the D5 leading from Belesta towards Montségur. La fontaine is on the left side of the road. There is a car park there and a café opposite which is open during the tourist season.
You could easily pass by here thinking it doesn’t look particularly interesting but in fact it is a rare phenomenon – a natural siphon. There are, apparently only about 30 known siphons in the world and this is one of the most important of them.
Between October and June there doesn’t seem to be anything unusual happening here because the flow of water is continuous, but during the period July to October (sometimes this might continue to January) the water rushes out of this cave every half an hour and almost completely dries up in between the rushes.
The cascade of water lasts for 36 minutes et 36 seconds, then stops for 32 minutes and 30 seconds. The amount of water which comes out of the cave is in the range of about 1600 litres a second and can be as much as 3000 litres a second after a storm”. If you have walked over the stepping stones into the cave just before the “fountain” starts you have to wait half an hour until the flow eases off before you can come out of the cave again! It is clearly important to get your timing right or you could just watch from a safe distance at the barrier.
ZUIKO 4/3 14-45mm