The journey from Katherine to Alice Springs is approximately 1,200 km which we reckon will take us three days to drive.We want to get to Alice in time for Tam's arrival next Thursday and also to fit in a few nights in the MacDonnell Ranges, which we've heard so much about from other travellers so decided they're a must see.Heading south from Katherine we were still on what you could call familiar territory as we'd been on this road before when we were here in 1997. However, we didn't recognise any of it until we saw the sign for CuttaCuttaCaves, which we'd visited previously, and shortly afterwards the small town of Matarankawhere 10 years ago we'd experienced our first swim in natural thermal pools.We thought this would be a good place to stop for coffee (an excellent one at the Stockyard CafÃ© and Gallery and a free green papaya freshly picked from the garden thrown in to boot!) and a dook in the beautiful clear blue water of Bitter Springs - another more natural and less commercialised thermal pool very close to town. Greatly refreshed we were back on the road for our overnight stop at Daly Waters (this is a different place from the Daly Rivers where Uncle Bill tried to establish land rights and which is 500 km further north). Daly Waters has the distinction of having the first international airport in the Territory, as its location was just right as a refuelling stop for flights from Sydney to Singapore.It is also renowned for its pub/motel which was established to service the international airfield.Well, it ain't half an interesting pub, and in fact one of the best in Australian we've imbibed in.It's full of interesting articles left by visitors, pinned to every available wall and roof space.There's the obvious bank notes, flags etc but more interestingly knickers, bras and various other undergarments, stubbie holders etc etc etc.The pub and beer garden are also filled with all sorts of bric and brac sort of stuff (eg surfboards, huge white polar bear, old farm machinery etc etc etc) collected by the owners over the years. We'll know more about the pub and its history once we read the book that we bought (along with some T shirts) at the bar.The pub is famed for its beef and barra BBQ nights and so, checking in, we booked ours for 7.30.Although we didn't know it at the time happy hour is really happy - for some.With 20 minutes to go to the end of happy hour we headed along for a refreshing drink.E was decidedly thirsty and spied large 1.2 litre jugs of beer and, his eyes being bigger than his belly (?), he ordered one with prime Oz beer.M's tipple was soda lime and bitters.Attempting to pay he soon realised what happy hour was - 'Toss you for it' said the barman.As the coin spun in the air E called heads - and heads it was.He walked way without having to pay a cent.As E walked smugly back into the beer garden, loads of guys drinking half pints called out, 'Did you have to pay?''No', E replied 'I won the toss.' Everyone was jealous of how much beer he'd won and of course E couldn't resist telling them they shouldn't drink those nancy boy half pints! This led to a great evening with lively banter across the tables - with a couple we'd met in the pool at Bitter Springs and a 'buncha' blokes (Buncha, Sal and the two Dans) from Tumbarumba in the SnowyMountains, NSW.They were heading to Darwin to do the Darwin to Dubbo car rally.Food started at 6.30 and as people walked by with laden plates E kept shouting 'Just have your normal - leave some for us', which helped to keep the banter going throughout the evening.And the food was great, and plentiful, when it arrived.We slept well that night!Next morning this was a day for a long haul and it was strange to really be saying goodbye to the north.The landscape was more varied and interesting than we expected and we didn't have too many side distractions on this leg.At one point we took the opportunity to turn off on to the old Stuart Highway for about 14 km detour, where the vegetation is seriously encroaching on the road, to see a rock formation which is supposed to look a famous former British politician.The photo is on the Wycliffe Well photo album - anyone guess who it is?We stopped for fuel at Renner Springs, which is the official 'border' between the wet north and the dry centre, and we certainly could see the change in vegetation as we'd left the lush tropical landscape far behind us.The only other main distraction was a brief stop at the wonderful Devils Marbles just north of Wauchope - granite rock formations where boulders balance precariously on top of none another.A further 40 km and we reached our overnight stop at Wycliffe Well.This is famous for UFO sightings and the roadhouse is full of UFO memorabilia (for want of a better word) - see photo album - including logs full of details of claimed sightings.The trip from Katherine to Wycliffe Well has been zany and really good fun, despite the fact that all the 'settlements' are essentially nothing much more than a pub with rooms and some caravan pitches.A PS to the Uncle Bill story. The good thing about this site is that it has internet access and when we logged in we had an email from John at the Darwin library who sent on more information and a photograph of Uncle Bill and friends with a 20 foot crocodile that they'd shot.So this proves another part of the story - he was a crocodile hunter! Also, just before we left Katherine M had time for a last trawl through the newspaper archives in the library.Prompted by information she'd got in Darwin she was able to find some articles in which he was mentioned, one of which was particularly interesting.At a Bazaar held in the DarwinTown Hall in aid of funds for the organ at the catholic church, Bill won the live pig and promptly let it loose causing chaos in the hall.Sounds just like something M's mother would have done so this peculiar sense of humour seems to run in the family!