Cuenca lives up to the promises of colonial beauty, beautiful rivers and mountains, indigenous markets and warm culture. But what strikes me the most is the skies. With mountains in every direction, and the sea 150 km away, and equatorial temperatures, the sky is a constantly changing panorama. Sunny mornings are always fringed with clouds banking down over the surrounding peaks. Villages in the mountains are shrouded, waiting for the mid-day burn off. Afternoons most often become rainy as the cold mountain air collides with the warming sea breezes from the west.