Sometimes I’m lucky enough to have conversations with elderly Skopelitans who are happy to provide some information of the “old days”. Today the “elderly” are people born in the late 1920s but most usually folk born in the 1930s. The conversations often begin with, “Years ago, who, what, where, when, how did Skopelitans do this or go there etc”.
In these conversations I’ve learned that the Aloupi mule track was the main route from the village to the center of the island and beyond. People on foot approached the spring from inside town using the existing steps to the cemetery road, or with animals the incline by Hotel Denise. Another access to Aloupi was along the (now covered) river bed from Agios Riganaki up past the Gymnasium and high school (on the left) and continuing directly uphill along the uncovered stream to the Aloupi spring.
To get to Agnontas, where people would only go during bad weather to meet/take a boat, was a different story. The walking path began as it still does today at Agios Riganaki and would continue southwest along the base of the valley past Agios Riginos monastery and continue into the woods where the unused public slaughter house stands and the garbage trucks are kept. The path continued straight along the river bed and then began the serious climb up the mountain. Totally overgrown, it is unclear today exactly where this path was. There was no kalderimi, just a rough path in the woods. Eventually the travelers emerged at the familiar spot where there is an obvious path today (photo 3 below) and continued upwards over the ridge near the Gerakis goat farm and using the (still) existing trail down the mountainside to Agnontas. The journey of about 1.5 hours was on foot and a mule train carried heavy items. Arrivals at Agnontas traveled the same route back to the village.
Heather Parsons covers some portions of this walk in her book, “Skopelos Trails”.