New Delhi, Aug. 24 -- In my defence, I had made the bookings in a rush. I was in London, and my India SIM card wasn't working so I couldn't get the one-time passwords required for online bookings. It was only at the last moment that the problem was resolved, and I did all my bookings in one go, afraid that the invisible magic of telecommunications might let me down any moment, and my cherished trip to the Scotland of the West-I am from Shillong, which used to be known as Scotland of the East-would fail to materialize.

Now I was there, and wondering whether I should have done a bit more research. Touchwood House, where I was an Airbnb guest, stood by the side of a lonely road that runs along the Ness river in Inverness, in the Scottish Hi...